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Author Topic: ?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?  (Read 15347 times)

Offline galynafish

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Offline MartinTheK

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Exactly! Take wheat for example. It was genetically modified millenia ago. Today there is no natural wild species of wheat left on the entire planet. Why does the news media not report the oodles of deaths which must logically be occurring all around us?


I'll tell you why---it's because of the many witches walking amongst us in their secret covens..Where is the modern day Cotton Mather to save us?

Or maybe it's because of the radio waves being beamed into our minds from cell phone towers by the Tri-lateral commission.
(Pssst!That's why I never leave the house without my aluminum foil hat you know)
 

Offline Geezer

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Er, aluminum no longer works. If it's not titanium, you could be controlled.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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The devil you say! And here was I thinking the good folk had been messing around with my stelazine.
 

Offline Don_1

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Hybridisation is not the same as GM.

It is far too early to evaluate the consequences of GM crops fully. In the mean time, I think it is right that we should be cautious, not just for what GM crops may do to Man, but for the effect they may have on other plants, animals and, in particular, insects and the soil.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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Genes are genes and when they are changed - whether it was done by a laboratory method or "naturally" they have been changed. We have been improving crops by breeding them for centuries by indirect gene manipulation. What evidence do you have that it is dangerous to do it directly?

It seems to me that this question is moot as long as earth's population continues to increase. When you look closely at the world's bloody "religious" conflict they are fundamentally about access to  either arable land or oil. If we cannot increase crop yields sufficiently which is much more possible than some GM boogeyman.

So I believe that on balance it is wrong to condemn GM foods without much better evidence than is presently at hand. People who claim a conspiracy exists to promote GM are doing so at the risk of a murderous world war III that would certainly be worse than some genetic mishap. If GM foods were to exterminate the entire human race - and I can think of a few naked scientists who I would hardly miss - that is better than total thermonuclear devastation of the entire biosphere.

So pull up yer socks, shut up, and eat yer GM wheaties. 

 

Offline Don_1

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GM corn is thought to have caused a high mortality rate among Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. The Caterpillar does not feed on the corn, but on milkweed growing around and between the plants. Pollen from the corn falling on the Milkweed is suspected of being the culprit in this high mortality rate.

A similar instance to this, as yet unknown, could be the reason for Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bees, or might have a detrimental effect on other beneficial insects.

We have made mistakes before with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. DDT is one such mistake. These mistakes can at least be corrected by the withdrawal of the offending substance. Should we find we have made a mistake with a GM crop, perhaps in 10 or 20 years time, it may not be possible to correct the mistake in time to undo the damage.

I am not exactly opposed to GM, but I do think we need to exercise extreme caution when altering the genetics of crops at this level. It may take many generations before a problem becomes evident.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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I think that it may be just as well that some countries remain persnickety about GM foods so that they can act as controls. In any case I am no fan of the thuggish tactics of Monsanto in trying to monopolize the field. They are the people who brought us the Bophal disaster if I remember correctly.

Still the question was what is the medical risk of GM? This may not be the best place to get informed discourse on milkweed and bee keeping. I am sure they have been introducing GM into the American diet and that the Chinese won't turn up their noses at increasing their wheat and rice production..so the jury is out. If we guess wrongly the future may belong to the Swiss.
 

Offline Variola

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GM corn is thought to have caused a high mortality rate among Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. The Caterpillar does not feed on the corn, but on milkweed growing around and between the plants. Pollen from the corn falling on the Milkweed is suspected of being the culprit in this high mortality rate.
   

It could be because the crop was engineered to produce BT toxin, it is lethal to caterpillars hence the high mortality rate, and would follow that the pollen would contaminate other plants. B. Thuringiensis does occur naturally in the guts of some caterpillars, and is harmless until is sporulates and releases it's toxin.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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Monarch butterflies migrate and overwinter either at the Mariposa reserve in Michoacan, Mexico or in Pacific Grove not far from where I live in California. They are very sensitive to habitat loss. They congregate on specific trees and completely cover them. It is quite a sight but I doubt if GM corn pollen compares to the impact of habitat loss in their wintering sites (thru global warming) in affecting their population levels.

It is interesting to note that if the wind is right they can turn up in Britain. They are certainly righteous little dudes.
 

Offline peppercorn

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #10 on: 09/09/2010 20:08:01 »
A similar instance to this, as yet unknown, could be the reason for Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bees, or might have a detrimental effect on other beneficial insects.

We have made mistakes before with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. DDT is one such mistake. These mistakes can at least be corrected by the withdrawal of the offending substance. Should we find we have made a mistake with a GM crop, perhaps in 10 or 20 years time, it may not be possible to correct the mistake in time to undo the damage.

It is truly horrifying to think what, as yet unknown, decimation is being released on insect life throughout the world, not to mention the wider collapses in ecosystem.  Worries over climate change might pale into insignificance in comparison.

In any case I am no fan of the thuggish tactics of Monsanto in trying to monopolize the field. They are the people who brought us the Bophal disaster if I remember correctly.

I am certainly no fan of Monsanto's tactics either, but in fairness I believe the Bophal disaster was down to Union Carbide.
 

Offline SeanB

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #11 on: 09/09/2010 20:17:20 »
Remember the major problem of GM engineered plants is that they can and do interbreed with the normal unmodified strains. Thus if some farmer upwind of you has planted, your next crop is going to be a hybrid of that as well, and Monsanto will come along and demand payment as you are "illegally" using the patented genes, though no fault of your own, but because the GM crop is so profligate and indiscriminate about spreading its pollen.

Selecting for natural traits that enhance resistance from disease, or a better yield, from those genes that are naturally there, is, IMHO, a lot better than adding a gene from a bacterium that somewhere codes for a resistance, but also WHY else, in a position that did not kill the host, and at least did allow it to reproduce the desired characteristic somewhat.
 

Offline Variola

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #12 on: 09/09/2010 21:14:19 »
Quote
Selecting for natural traits that enhance resistance from disease, or a better yield, from those genes that are naturally there, is, IMHO, a lot better than adding a gene from a bacterium that somewhere codes for a resistance, but also WHY else, in a position that did not kill the host, and at least did allow it to reproduce the desired characteristic somewhat. 

I maybe having a dim moment, but I cannot fully understand that last bit  :)Why else what?  ???

The BT toxin gene was cloned into the plant, the toxin is what is lethal and gives the plant it's resistance to pests.
 

Offline echochartruse

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #13 on: 10/09/2010 01:22:35 »
GM corn is thought to have caused a high mortality rate among Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. The Caterpillar does not feed on the corn, but on milkweed growing around and between the plants. Pollen from the corn falling on the Milkweed is suspected of being the culprit in this high mortality rate.
A similar instance to this, as yet unknown, could be the reason for Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bees, or might have a detrimental effect on other beneficial insects.
We have made mistakes before with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. DDT is one such mistake. These mistakes can at least be corrected by the withdrawal of the offending substance. Should we find we have made a mistake with a GM crop, perhaps in 10 or 20 years time, it may not be possible to correct the mistake in time to undo the damage.
I am not exactly opposed to GM, but I do think we need to exercise extreme caution when altering the genetics of crops at this level. It may take many generations before a problem becomes evident.

It may take many generations or it may happen faster than we think!
I find it interesting that a mono culture of native trees that was genetically modified to become fire retardant has effected the native wild life, the oyster population and local residence in Tasmania who are suffering rare and contagious cancers.

Now we know that our genes are reshuffled, a process called recombination is what makes us individuals and we change or evolve under stress (stress can = something that has changed in our lifestyle.

Quote from: genetic diversity http://ts-si.org/genetics-&-genome/26687-key-genetic-catalyst-for-human-diversity-discovered
Key genetic catalyst for human diversity
The Jeffreys team has now defined the engine for change in genetic hotspots, one of the key drivers of human  evolution and diversity, accounting for changes that occur between different generations of people.
Our lifestyle and immediate environment has a lot to do with our evolution. Have you thought about bacteria, worms, bugs whatever the stuff that lives inside us? 80% of what is living in us is not human. SO! Everything depend on everything else for survival, or the fight for survival.

Mother nature, father time!

But does changing the plants genes stop people from starving?

Or is it just killing of the natural population of 'pests' that feed off the crops etc, etc?
Remembering that 'everything depends on everything else to survive', Then doesn't that mean something or many things will suffer because of the change?

Quote from: Extinction outpaces evolution
(03/09/2010) Extinctions are currently outpacing the capacity for new species to evolve, according to Simon Stuart, chair of the Species Survival Commission for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).] Experts say the Earth has entered a mass extinction period due to human activities, such as deforestation and habitat destruction. The extinction rate has risen to approximately 100 to 1000 times higher than the background rate. In fact, many species vanish before they are even named and described by scientists, let alone tested for medicinal qualities.

 
Quote from: http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0222-hance_plantation.html
"The toxin is actually coming from the monoculture trees," Scammell said on Australian news show, Today.

Bleaney, marine biologist Marcus Scammell, and a group of oyster farmers paid out of their own pockets to have the water in question tested for toxins in the St. Helen's area of Tasmania.

This is a native forest that has been genetically modified and planted as a mono culture and I think it is one of the best reasons why we should consider other proposals contrary to GM.

To answer you question, MG comany and governements don't want fingers pointed at them when things go wrong.

Nothing has been done about the toxic run off of the mono culture native GM forest as it's grown on government land also they say it is from a native tree and therfore natural......... Huh! So is arsnic but this is also genetically modified and planted as a mono culture. Why?, yes why....?
« Last Edit: 10/09/2010 01:39:04 by echochartruse »
 

Offline MartinTheK

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #14 on: 10/09/2010 02:43:54 »
I'm sure this is all very pertinent, but what has it to do with Medicine? There is a plant forum here on the website where I am sure the discussion could receive more informed input.

We might care to discuss the therapeutic aspects of gene manipulation. That has some interesting meat on it perhaps.

As to GM of foods being discussed on the medical forum - would anyone like to hear about my two Tonkinese cats?
 

Offline echochartruse

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #15 on: 10/09/2010 02:55:53 »
http://www.tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/clarification-needed-over-gm-eucalypt

Field trials of genetically modified (GM) canola took place at 57 sites in Tasmania in the late 1990s and in 2000. The trials were conducted by Monsanto Australia and Aventis (now Bayer CropScience) under contractual arrangements with land owners. In 2001 the Tasmanian Government decided to pursue a GMO-free path for commercial agriculture. This policy decision, combined with the persistence of GM canola seed in soil at the former trial sites, created a management challenge.

They possibly didn't know then that once GM canola was released it effected nearby non GM crops, right?

Does the world grow Non GM Canola? Don't think so...

A new generation of E. nitens genetic material has been captured and assembled into a new seed orchard established at Castra in north-west Tasmania. This new orchard signifies the continuing advancement of the E. nitens genetic improvement, and highlights the value of this research program to increasing the value and productivity of Forestry Tasmania plantations.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/End-GM-Tree-Farms-NOW/

http://www.water-sos.org/monocultures.html

Our understanding of the contamination potential from future plantings of GE trees is largely based on
known contamination incidents from GE food crops and experimental plantings of engineered grasses.4
While there has not yet been a fully comprehensive study of crop contamination from GE varieties,
several well-documented incidents have alerted the world to the seriousness of this problem.

After all GM crops are not banned apparently it appears to me only making the crop commercial is banned.
 

Offline echochartruse

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #16 on: 10/09/2010 03:50:19 »
I'm sure this is all very pertinent, but what has it to do with Medicine? There is a plant forum here on the website where I am sure the discussion could receive more informed input.

If you think we will only have GM for food, your wrong.

 
GM crops specially engineered to produce drugs are to be grown commercially for the first time, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

GM crops specially engineered to produce drugs are to be grown commercially for the first time, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

An American biotech company plans to start growing medicines to treat diarrhoea in modified rice this spring. Its proposals were examined last week by regulatory authorities in California, but they have no power to stop the planting.

The rice will usher in a second generation of GM crops, which are bound to polarise opinion even more than those that have already caused controversy around the world. Unlike current crops they could offer real benefits to millions of people - but they also pose far greater health risks.

GM dairy herd promises 'medicine milk'
http://www.dairyreporter.com/Formulation/GM-dairy-herd-promises-medicine-milk

GM medicine 'risks the lives of diabetics'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2000/may/07/antonybarnett.theobserver

What happens when GM plants escape into wild and reproduce and then are used in our medicines?

Science genetically engineers medicine all the time. Animal medicine, plant medicine whatever Genetically engineered or modified it has been happening for decades.

« Last Edit: 10/09/2010 03:51:57 by echochartruse »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #17 on: 10/09/2010 07:01:09 »
Martin,
Part of medicine is the prevention of ill health. If the scare stories are true then this thread is in the right place.
Perhaps you should add the discussion of your cats to your post about the Deepwater oil spill which is certainly in the wrong place. It really has nothing to do with nitric oxide impregnated socks.
 

Offline echochartruse

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #18 on: 10/09/2010 08:58:43 »
Genetic Engineering Medicine
http://geneticengineeringmedicine.com/
interesting piece following about GM plant products in cosmetics...Hmmm.

Genetically Engineered Cells Can Transform Immune Cells Into Tumor Fighters In Humans
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/50988.php

in the near future we will only need to have our genes tweeked instead of taking antibiotics.

Genetic engineering mistakes are like putting something on the net one you put it there it is out there forever. GE mistakes can't be taken back.

Australia has agreed not to clone people instead they are going to insert human genes into pigs through their sperm, to make hearts for people. Or make us more likable to pigs or more alike pigs. With pigs genetics only 98 percent different to humans this may close the gap,.........hmmm.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #19 on: 10/09/2010 14:54:54 »
Gene manipulation is the only hope for a raft of horrible afflictions such as Neurofibromatosis which some of us were discussing last month. If you would care to see what the disease is like you may drop into the "Neurofibromatosis Cafe" at

http://www.reggiebibbs.com/

and then you might want to cross yourselves in holy dread that nothing like that ever touches your life.

I am sure very similar discussions were once held in the trees about the horrific dangers posed to humanity by those horrible people across the river who are employing that newly discovered fire on a daily basis. "Mark my words Ms. McGilliudy! No Good will come of this abomination! Cooked food was not meant for us!"

The point to take home is that science and technology continue on to whatever place they are going. As to you lot, "The dogs bark and the caravan passes on."

woof!
 

Offline peppercorn

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #20 on: 10/09/2010 15:50:13 »
The point to take home is that science and technology continue on to whatever place they are going. As to you lot, "The dogs bark and the caravan passes on."

So you're basically saying Rachel Carson should have kept her mouth shut, then?
 

Offline Variola

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #21 on: 10/09/2010 16:53:31 »
Quote
GM medicine 'risks the lives of diabetics'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2000/may/07/antonybarnett.theobserver
   

GM medicine also saved the lives of everyone who has been diabetic. Not that the guardian has done it's research.
Ecoli was the first bacterium to be modified to produce insulin,a long time before GM was of any concern to anyone.

It is just not possible to make a blanket decision on such a wide field.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #22 on: 10/09/2010 21:48:00 »
"So you're basically saying Rachel Carson should have kept her mouth shut, then?"

(Sheesh! Give me a break!)  I am saying that genies don't go back into lamps. All of this discussion won't change that and all of this "learned discourse" only amounts to an intellectual sploogie race designed to trot out somebody's side of a complex issue. That's why this topic was formulated with "have you stopped beating your wife yet" syntax away from the botany section where it might meet expert commentary. Nothing said on this forum is going to materially change the outcome and we all know it. Meanwhile it confuses people and hinders genetic research that could be a real help to suffering humanity. It's a real shame.


"It's true living with the future is like having a hive of bees in your head--but there they are."


--Firesign Theater, "I think we're all Bozos on this Bus"
 

Offline peppercorn

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #23 on: 11/09/2010 13:57:55 »
All of this discussion won't change that and all of this "learned discourse" only amounts to an intellectual sploogie race designed to trot out somebody's side of a complex issue.

If that's your view why do you bother posting on these 'unchangeable' topics at all then?
Personally, cynical though I am, I do believe that public pressure can still change things (sometimes even for the better!).  When it comes to risking uncontrolled spread of GM pollen and cross-breeding, especially in countries with poor regulation and vested corporate interest, having an educated end-consumer can be a powerful force to hold them back.


That's why this topic was formulated with "have you stopped beating your wife yet" syntax away from the botany section where it might meet expert commentary.

So, if it had been "How safe are genetically modified foods?", you'd have no problem with it?  I agree that it technically would have been better placed in 'Plant sciences', but I think it's a real stretch to say that the quality of discourse is lower as a result.

Meanwhile it confuses people and hinders genetic research that could be a real help to suffering humanity. It's a real shame.
Large chunks of the pop. are already confused & even if you've got a fairly good understanding it's still a mine-field.
Gene manipulation in the lab, is whole different issue - where the risks should be far more controllable.  Clarifying the differences should be one aim of educational media, etc.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2010 14:03:46 by peppercorn »
 

Offline MartinTheK

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
« Reply #24 on: 11/09/2010 15:14:33 »
A few years ago I walked the way of Saint James through Spain where the pension is 600 Euros / month. Peoples' potato patches are not a matter of luxury there. I suppose you think that some sort of World Wide Plebisite would be successful in stopping the introduction of GM foods even if they offer the ability to grow more food for less money? Good Luck to that.

I live in Fresno County California which is one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world--except that there is a major drought cycle. Due to the salinity build-up in the soil caused by irrigation a mega billion drainage system will soon have to be built after they develop hydrogen fusion so they can desalinate enough water to meet the water demands for the exploding population. In Fresno County that is largely Republicans many of whom think Mr. Obama is a Muslim from Kenya trying to stop George Bush's holy war against "Islamo-fascists". Without the prosperity offered by GM drought and salinity tolerant cotton; those people would have to give up their humongous cars, swimming pools, and boats maybe 10 years sooner. And they love their guns. And they detest "Eurpean Socialists".

So when you say you plan to "educate" people not to use GM.....how? (NB.. I suggest you avoid telling them (Spaniards or Americans) that are going to "educate" them. BP is currently running a massive blitz in which they represent themselves as a young black woman from Mississippi who is helping people out of the kindness of her big heart. Something like that might help you..at least with the dumber heads unless somebody comes up with GM enhanced 5 star Toulumne polio weed)
« Last Edit: 11/09/2010 15:54:03 by MartinTheK »
 

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?How dangerous geneticaly modify food and why no news about it?
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