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Author Topic: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?  (Read 4807 times)

Offline werttty

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Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« on: 11/09/2013 07:48:58 »
Genetically modified food has been on supermarket shelves around the world for 13 years. In America, around 80% of foods contain GM ingredients.
Some experts fear that people will have allergic reactions to plants with added genes.
Is GM Food Safe to Eat?I don't know, but I don't want to eat genetically modified foods.


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2013 08:38:51 »
Pretty much all food has been genetically modified over the thousands of years we have been selectively breeding and interbreeding for taste, yield and disease resistance. The only difference is that the new stuff has been deliberately engineered in a laboratory instead of turning up by chance in a field.

"Experts fear" is journalistic scaremongering. There is always a possibility that someone can develop an allergic reaction to anything: dust mites, peanuts, shellfish...I even have a friend who is allergic to champagne, and I'm allergic to marijuana (boy! do we have fun!). AFAIK allergies are wholly unpredictable but generally reliable when they occur, so if it doesn't like you, stop doing it. If everyone has an adverse reaction to something, it is called a toxin, not an allergen, and can't be sold as food.

By the time a GM product reaches the shelves it will have been eaten by laboratory technicians, laboratory rats, field mice and birds, the industrial chefs who design and test new products, and a thousand people of all likely races who sit on taste panels. It's a damn sight safer than any "natural" product.

If you don't want to eat GM food, stick to wild roots, leaves and berries, with the occasional rabbit, deer or brown trout that you catch for yourself, at least a hundred miles from civilisation.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #2 on: 11/09/2013 12:19:45 »
The issue of selective breeding vs GM is complicated.

Yes, humans have been doing selective breeding for thousands of years, and in a sense, the birds and the bees have been doing selective breeding for billions of years. 

My concern lies in what is being done with the GM.

I believe that most of the GM discussion lies with two types of modifications.  Adding disease resistance to the crops, and adding herbicide resistance to the crops. 

In a sense plants have been developing means to fight disease since the beginning of time.  However, humans have been able to artificially add traits such as lysing bugs that essentially means that the plants are now producing pesticides without necessarily rigorous testing of the effects in humans and livestock.

The second development is herbicide resistance such as "roundup-ready" crops.  This not only means more roundup is being sprayed on the farmlands, but more is actually being sprayed on the crops that are harvested and used as food.  This potentially increases the human exposure to these herbicides. 

Anyway, I'm not concerned with developing sweeter varieties of corn, but I am concerned with plant produced pesticides as well as spraying herbicides on the food I'm eating.  I suppose one should ask about the food also being sprayed with pesticides (not GM).
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #3 on: 11/09/2013 13:20:35 »
Presumably the lab rats have eaten the endogenous pesticides, and the food safety regulators have specified if not tested the artificial pesticide residue limits. You are unlikely to die from eating anything in a supermarket.
 

Offline JP

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #4 on: 11/09/2013 13:48:37 »
If you're going to worry about GM crops, I'd worry much more about possible environmental consequences of introducing pest resistant crops or the widespread use of herbicides on resistant crops than I would about eating them. 
 

Offline Mazurka

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #5 on: 12/09/2013 09:19:52 »
If you're going to worry about GM crops, I'd worry much more about possible environmental consequences of introducing pest resistant crops or the widespread use of herbicides on resistant crops than I would about eating them. 
This
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #6 on: 12/09/2013 15:55:02 »
Due to IBS, I've had to eliminate most foods from my diet altogether. If people start thoughtlessly messing around with the few that I can still eat by putting genes from ones I can't eat into them, I might lose them too. As it is, my diet is so lacking in certain things now that it will probably reduce my length of life substantially, but it would be a lot more worrying for someone with a rare allergy who suddenly gets killed by something they expect to be safe.
 

Offline werttty

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #7 on: 17/09/2013 07:37:30 »
Before I always thought cherry tomatoes are genetically modified foods ,for a long time did not dare to eat
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #8 on: 17/09/2013 07:58:07 »
Selective breeding is not the same as genetically modified (in theory).

With corn, a number of genotypes or phenotypes, and probably actual genes have been identified.

But, the selective breeding for the desired traits isn't the same as GM traits inserted into the corn, which generally include genes from other organisms inserted into the corn.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #9 on: 17/09/2013 09:07:39 »
I don't think the organism knows or cares where its genes came from (a uniquely human conceit, due to the inheritance of property).

I don't see any significant contraindication to the longterm consumption of anything that isn't acutely poisonious or clearly allergenic.   

Wouldn't it be nice to engineer a peanut that didn't kill anyone?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #10 on: 18/09/2013 07:12:53 »
Suits me. Like everyone else, I'll be dead after "several decades" anyway.

Deficient diets tend to have longterm effects, but apart from eating the brains of your enemies (a very natural food, surely?) I can't think of any longterm toxins that aren't also short-term toxins.

Two things can kill you: not enough of what you need, or too much of what you like. I vote for the latter.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #11 on: 29/09/2013 15:41:48 »
Hydrazine is a long term poison, but not a short term one. There's relatively large amounts of it in mushrooms- never, ever eat uncooked mushrooms, and don't inhale the fumes when you're cooking mushrooms. It's about a milligram which is a huge amount, given that it's a strong liver carcinogen. Hydrazine is used in rocketry; they wear self contained suits with breathing apparatus when handling it.

Not that that's in GM food, but long term toxins certainly do exist.
 

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Re: Is GM Food Safe to Eat?
« Reply #11 on: 29/09/2013 15:41:48 »

 

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