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GMOs

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by nwdiver, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    One of my favorite You Tube channels just released a great summary of GM food. This is up there with climate change and evolution as one of the silliest non-debate debates.... facts on one side... opinions on the other....

     
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  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    #2 Max*, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    I think the video is a bit biased in claiming that the "science is in".

    Science is bought by industry. For a while that "science" claimed that fat was bad for you (while the sugar industry paid the scientists). Recently it was an "o crap" moment, when they realized it's not fat that's bad for you but sugar. What'll happen in another 20 years? They might discover something else and say it's not sugar but something else.

    I have nothing against GMO plants/crops, but I think it's too early to say definitely they're as safe long term as non-GMO crops.
     
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  3. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #3 nwdiver, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    If that's true then the Koch brothers aren't getting their moneys worth. Neither did the tobacco industry. The scientific method does a good job at ensuring the truth floats to the surface.

    GMOs aren't new. To be uselessly pedantic the science is NEVER in. But at some point 99.999% is enough. Especially when it's so one-sided. Thousands of peer reviewed research papers claiming they are safe. Zero with evidence that they aren't.

    The GMO fear mongering has real consequences...

    This is one of the more absurd examples... sugar is sugar... GMO sugar is identical to non-GMO sugar... IT'S SUGAR! C12H22O11
     
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  4. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    I think the most valid GMO concern is just control and ownership of the food chain. How big a deal is that really? I don't know.
     
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  5. Nuclear Fusion

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    The biggest misrepresentation on GMO by supporters is the production - how are ecosystems altered
    That said, the ecosystem is already altered by the land clearing & introduced non-GMO food crop
     
  6. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Right... there is absolutely no difference. We've been altering crops for aeons with selective breeding. Suddenly people are jittery when we engineer them intentionally. It's absurd.

    Unless it came out of the ocean it's GMO. The only difference is wether it's GMO by accident or GMO by engineering. Non-GMO Almonds are poisonous due to high cyanide content. I don't hear any complaints about Almonds that have been genetically modified with selective breeding to be edible.
     
  7. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Perhaps you haven't heard any complaints because this selective breeding (if you wish to call it that) occurred more than 5,000 years ago. What little I know about the origin of edible foods (enough to be dangerous! :eek:) is that many edible foods evolved naturally through sporting, mutating or cross-pollinating, and Man just helped the process along by cultivating the good ones.

    I am recalling from my distant memory, but the California Almond Board (or maybe it is California Almond Growers' Exchange) had a history of the almond. Almonds (Prunus amygdalus) once upon a time were the deadly trees that produced the "bitter" almond famously known for its bitter taste (thanks to benzaldehyde) and its conversion of amgydalin into HCN when the kernel is crushed or chewed. However, Man in his quest for food saw that some almond trees had smaller sizes than others, and those kernels were not bitter nor were they deleterious to one's health. They started to breed, cultivate and separate those trees from their deadly cousins. I am not sure of the modern taxonomy of the almond. I don't know if the bitter and sweet almond are the same species, but different varieties, or if they are separate species.

    Anyway, I leave it to the semanticists to debate whether natural mutations or cross-pollination of food crops are genetically modified or not. But I think that there is a world of difference between manipulating a recessive gene in the same species to get a desired result and inserting a gene from a completely different species to get a desired result.

    I wonder if a few of us on this site are employed by Monsanto or Dow Chemical.
     
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  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Genetics is messy.

    'Scientists at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru, have found genes from bacteria in 291 sweet potato varieties, including ones grown in the U.S., Indonesia, China, parts of South America and Africa. The findings suggest bacteria inserted the genes into the crop's wild ancestor, long before humans started cooking up sweet potato fries.'

    Point is that it's absurd to be perfectly ok with something happening by chance but when we engineer it suddenly it's taboo. We don't wait for trees to fall in the shape of a house why should we wait for the right genes to align themselves by chance?

    My allegiance is to science and reason. GMO fear mongers are no better than climate change deniers. Science is science. We all need to stop cherry picking reality.
     
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  9. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Perhaps I show my age or my belt-and-suspenders approach to certain things. In this instance, I do not want my food and fiber altered to be able to withstand copious treatments of glyphosate in the fields. I don't want genes inserted from other organisms that enable frost-sensitive plants to tolerate freezing. Perhaps I am a fear monger in this particular situation. But I sense that as a society that we have an insatiable appetite for more and more. I do not believe that scientists and their ilk ever know when to stop and say, "Enough." And part of that problem in my opinion is not with the scientists. It is with the general public who is too lazy, stupid, or cheap to use the science the way the scientists determine is proper and safe. These situations are no different from every physician who over prescribed antibiotics for their patients, and now we have some super bugs foraging among us. And the doctors are supposed to be the smart ones!

    I see a lot of pesticide, herbicide, and other -cide abuse here in the Valley. Workers get sick, beneficial insects die off by the hundreds of thousands, crops are contaminated when they arrive at the packing houses and must be destroyed--all because of misuse or abuse of farm chemicals.

    The cynic in me thinks that all this scientific research is a perpetual source of income and work for the scientists. They solve one problem, but create another on the back end. Sort of like the guy who runs a graffiti-removal business by day, but then his night job is painting graffiti.

    But I enjoy your point of view, NW. Thanks for posting.
     
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  10. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    IMO, the biggest concern about GMO food is their use to produce Roundup-ready crops that are unaffected by Roundup (glyphosate). Glyphosate is then used abundantly on these crops, resulting in massive ingestion of glyphosate. If you look at the USDA's data, the adoption of "HT" (herbicide resistant) products is trending towards 100%. What this means is that virtually every food product that contains corn or soy (including soybean oil, corn syrup, corn starch, etc.), which is nearly every processed food made, contains glyphosate. Recent figures from the USDA talk about over 100 million pounds of glyphosate being applied to crops every year.


    [​IMG]

    This wouldn't be a concern if glyphosate was harmless, as Monsanto has claimed. However, increasing amounts of data show that glyphosate is significantly more harmful than Monsanto has asserted. Part of the problrm is that health studies have focused on pure glyphosate and not the herbicide "Roundup" mixture that's actually applied to the plants. The journal Archives of Toxicology published a study in 2012 that Roundup damages human DNA at levels 450-fold lower than levels of glyphosate alone. They speculate that "surfactant polyoxyethyleneamine within Roundup dramatically enhances the absorption of glyphosate into exposed human cells and tissue." Similarly, the journal Toxicology published in the same year their study that human liver, embryonic, and placental cells were adversely affected at 1 ppm, which is significantly more damaging than glyphosate alone.

    Monsanto has always asserted that Roundup could not cross the placental barrier. Researchers in Argentina have isolated Roundup from human placental tissues, embryonic fluid, and fetal tissues.

    The mechanism of action that Roundup uses to destroy weeds (the Shikimate pathway) was asserted by Monsanto to be harmless to anything but plants; however, this overlooks the fact that this same pathway is used by gut flora in humans and animals.

    Roundup also inhibits an entire class of enzymes in humans, the liver's cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, that are used to catalyze the oxidation of organic substances. With these enzymes neutralized, the body's ability metabolize many medications and detoxify foreign chemicals is significantly impaired, as is the body's ability to produce hormones.

    And unmentioned thus far in my manifesto is the emergence of Roundup-resistant superweeds that are on the dramatic rise. These superweeds are compelling folks like Monsanto to create new resistant strains, including food crops that are resistant to agent orange and other fun, but assuredly harmless, compounds.

    There are additional risks of GMOs, separate from herbicides, but I'm not going to write a book here. If you're truly interested in learning about the risks of GMOs, I urge you to dig further than one internet video.
     
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  11. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #11 nwdiver, Apr 14, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
    Glyphosate (Roundup) is less toxic to humans than table salt... Not using Roundup would mean that more toxic and less sustainable herbicides would need to be used...

    Glyphosate works by blocking enzymes critical to plant growth. Unless you're a growing plant you'll be fine...

    We expect people to accept the scientific consensus on climate change.... we should hold ourselves to the same standard in ALL areas of science.

    You say that like it's a bad thing. People in every generation have said that... progress marches on. We're only getting started :)
     
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  12. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    LD50 is meaningless in the case of a systemic mutagen. An array of harmful substances aren't toxic upon immediate exposure. By the logic of this article, asbestos is harmless because it has a very low LD50.

    And the comment "unless you're a growing plant you'll be fine" overlooks the disruption of the Shikimate pathway, critical to the billions of microbial cells throughout our bodies and the disruption of the liver's cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, critical to humans.

    The problem with the "science" showing GMO's and the resultant use of glyphosates are safe is that the science has been manipulated by Monsanto and complacent members of the FDA.

    Monsanto Emails Suggest EPA Regulator Sought to Undermine Glyphosate Study

    Emails Reveal Monsanto's Tactics To Defend Glyphosate Against Cancer Fears

    It's obvious to me that when Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former chief lobbyist was appointed to be the FDA's "food safety czar" that there's no real science emerging here.

    There's a strong sense in the Tesla community that the science of climate change is being manipulated and misrepresented by those with a vested interest in big oil and others. Why is it difficult to believe that Monsanto, who sells more than 1.25 million metric tons per year of the stuff, would be similarly inclined to manipulate safety data?

    When I read that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, has called glyphosate a probable carcinogen, it gets my attention. As does the MIT researchers' work on Shikimate pathway disruption and its implications for humans and animals and the disruption of the liver's cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, all caused by glyphosate.

    Roundup is on virtually everything we eat. Almost all soy and corn products, including soybean oil, corn starch, corn oil, corn sweetener, etc. The USDA says that 85% of cotton is GMO to be Roundup-resistant, ensuring that glyphosate is in a dizzying array of cotton products, from sterile bandages, to feminine products, to clothing. It's also used as a burn-down agent for wheat, ensuring that it's in most every wheat product.

    But this is probably a waste of my time. Human nature being what it is, it's exceedingly unlikely that a forum posting is going to convince someone to change their mind about something like GMOs and glyphosate. And you are certainly free to dismiss the concerns, and the increasing evidence of harm, as we dump over a million metric tons of the stuff into our food supply, ground water, and cotton goods. You can ignore the fact that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has doubled over the past 20 years at the same time that the WHO is saying that glyphosate probably causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. You can ignore the research showing that glyphosate crosses the placental barrier and reaches the fetus, despite Monsant's claims to the contrary, a fact that was discovered by Argentinian researchers who were seeking to explain significantly higher rates of miscarriage among soybean field workers and nearby residents who are exposed to glyphosate.

    You can dismiss all this by simply saying the science is settled.

    No matter my opinion or yours, it's certain that this million metric ton per year experiment is far from over. Personally, I'm content to do my best to keep my family in the control group as much as possible.
     
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  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    You have to view this from the context of either/or. Even 'if' there is a carcinogenic risk to glyophsate (none have been confirmed)... it's not like we can reasonably grow food sustainably and cost effectively for Billions of people without using herbicides. The alternatives are mostly more toxic and less effective.

    AND... even 'if' there was an issue with Glyphosate... that's an issue with herbicides... not GMOs. My point here is that to fear, boycott or protest something simply because it's genome was engineered is silly. ESPECIALLY when that engineering is to produce a molecule as simple as sugar as mentioned above.

    To point to the 'flaws' of GMOs out of context of the alternatives is as disingenuous as people that point to the flaws of EVs out of context of the cost of ICE.

    ..... if corporations are so good at manipulating science then why has the fossil fuel industry failed to completely at controlling the climate debate? The scientific method is good at ensuring reality wins over bias...
     
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  14. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Native Americans are adamantly rejecting GMOs since they produce no seeds for next year's crop and also can inter-breed with neighboring field crops, a point which was originally denied by Monsanto. Having no viable seeds to plant is anathema to subsistence farmers all over the world. Interbreeding can destroy traditional plant species.
    --
     
  15. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I spoke with one of my farmer clients the other day. He is planting about 1,000 acres of white corn for human consumption. (This is field corn, not sweet corn.)

    He will be selling the kernels to a mill that produces masa. The mill is providing the seed for him to plant. The mill is providing non-GMO seed produced by Pioneer. He said that this mill only buys non-GMO field corn to turn into masa, cornmeal and hominy.

    La Tapatia and Teasdale are two of this mill's largest customers. So, you can look for La Tapatia or Teasdale at your grocer if this is something that is of interest to you.
     
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  16. OBX John

    OBX John Autonomous Driving Enthusiast

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    I have only one issue with GMOs - I feed as much food waste as I can to my worms to produce vermicompost, and I'd really like to know if plants that have been modified with the Bt gene are safe for them to consume?

    Besides that, I pretty much stick with the accepted science, while trying to keep an open mind that there could be something we've overlooked. However, it's difficult to believe anything from the non GMO crowd since they put out so much nonsense, with the exception of those who've posted in this thread - I found Rocker's post interesting.
     
  17. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    That's the most valid GMO concern I've ever read... it does appear that the BT toxin was selected because it's toxic to a very narrow selection of insects.

    For anyone concerned about human consumption of insecticides... caffeine is an insecticide...
     
  18. Brando

    Brando Member

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    Selective breeding seems to me to have one strong benefit. It is a rather rigorous test; reproduction.
    GMOs that are sterile are great for monopolistic companies. Not so sure they are healthy for consumption.
    Do I trust Monsanto with food safety? I can't imagine why I would. Look at the trends in US health - so you see signs of people eating health foods? I never saw a fat person who only ate fresh foods.

    Monsanto has no testing programs for safety and would you trust them?
     
  19. Brando

    Brando Member

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    I now rent a room on a NO chemicals used farm. You don't need chemicals to grow food. You especially don't need poisons. Plenty of insects that feed plenty of birds (and some insects too). Strangely the food tastes much much better than food shipped from thousands of miles away. Why? It becomes obvious why industrial farms may need chemicals to work. Humans did live for thousands of years without them. I'm not sure I see a personal benefit to chemicals on my food supply. Gardening and bartering with your friends and neighbors isn't half bad. In todays economy you still need a day job, but factory food you can do with out. I trust you get my drift.
     
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  20. Brando

    Brando Member

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    Simple test you can personally try.

    Go to an industrial farm which and spend the day and walk the fields.
    Then go to an organic chemical free farm. And spend the day.
    Which would you revisit, have wedding, get food for a meal, take kids to visit, stay for a special week end?

    Where I rent a room on a farm with no chemical there are wild birds, ducks, geese, eagles, owls, humming birds, jays, robins, etc.
    Raccoons, Fox, coyotes, sometimes a cougar swims over from the mainland (even a bear) to hunt deer. A lot of insects the birds feast on. Dozens of different kinds of bees. Ducks, chickens and geese eggs raised here. We have to put them in a cage at night or the predators will eat. Even the some of the larger rats. Mice, squirrels, chipmunks. Only 8 acres so they don't all live here, but they do visit.

    Now where would you rather live or rent a room at? Sadly, I'm beginning to realize that many read the above paragraph and well, I'm not sure what they think? Have they ever been out doors and seen these creatures?

    Now which world do you want to contribute to? What future do you want to help create? Do you get what I'm driving at? Or is this all outside of your experiences and you just have no idea what I'm talking about?
     
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