Funston Science

Topic 2: GMOs

Filed under: GMOs — tfunston at 4:13 pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

GMOs

 For thousands of years farmers have used a process of selection and cross breeding to continually improve the quality of crops. Even in nature, plants and animals selectively breed, thus ensuring the optimum gene pool for future generations. Traditional breeding methods are slow, requiring intensive labor: while trying to get a desirable trait in a bred species, undesirable traits will appear and breeders must continue the process over and over again until all the undesirables are bred out.

In contrast, GMOs receive one or a few targeted genes in a single generation in order to acquire a population with desired traits such as:

  • Rice with built-in Vitamin A that can help prevent blindness in 100 million children suffering from Vitamin A deficiency;
  • A tomato that softens more slowly, allowing it to develop longer on the vine and keep longer on the shelf;
  • Potatoes that absorb less fat when fried, changing the ever-popular french fries from junk food into a more nutritional food;
  • Strawberry crops that can survive frost;
  • An apple with a vaccine against a virus that causes childhood pneumonia.

 Statement: GMOs are beneficial and will a role in malnutrition prevention, improving crop yield, and decreasing pesticide use.


29 Comments »

  1.    Dana Murray — April 9, 2014 @ 12:25 pm   

    Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are a broad group of plants, animals, and bacteria that are engineered for a wide variety of applications ranging from agricultural production to scientific research. It is stated that GMO’s have a potential negative effect on the environment and Human health. It is also said that GMO’s can potentially increase food allergies in children by 7% and adults by 4% in the U.S. Knowing the side effects of some serious allergies today, this increase in exposure definitely will not benefit the general population. It is also stated that Genetically Modified Organisms have a decrease in nutritional value: GMO’s produce a higher level of Phytate in grains that makes them unavailable to humans which decreases the mineral nutritional value of the plant. Another study mentions that a Genetically Modified soybean produces lower levels of phytoestrogen compounds: phytoestrogen protects the human body against heart disease and cancer. It is believed by many in the world today that Genetically Modified Organisms are unhealthy for humans in general.

  2.    Owen Stickley — April 9, 2014 @ 12:42 pm   

    GMOs are beneficial when compared to natural plants and animals because they are more productive and offer many more positive opportunities for health, materials and other economic and environmental advances.
    Goats have been genetically modified with spider DNA that allows them to produce the spider’s silk protein in their milk. Geneticists took the spider’s dragline gene and put it into the goat’s DNA. Spider silk is incredibly durable and strong, making it a very valuable material. The silk can be used to create a fiber called Biosteel, which is stronger than Kevlar. Kevlar is commonly used in bullet proof vests and armor for self-defense. This spider silk was usually hard to come by and make into useable products. But now that it’s available in these goats it will produce much more usefulness in industry.
    Corn has also been genetically modified to make it more efficient and cheaper to produce in large quantities. BT corn requires less work to produce and it produces a higher yield, which can help in solving hunger problems. It also has added nutrients and vitamins that make it healthier. BT corn has the “potential to produce medicines inexpensively” (maizecdna.org). They also have pesticides bioengineered into the corn which prevent insects from destroying crops.

    Pros of Bt corn. (2003). Gercorn.Tripod: http://gecorn.tripod.com/id3.html
    12 bizarre examples of genetic engineering.(2011) Mother Nature Network: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/photos/12-bizarre-examples-of-genetic-engineering/web-spinning-goats

  3.    Taigan Dance — April 14, 2014 @ 11:15 am   

    Re: Owen, April 9
    GMOs are beneficial when compared to natural plants and animals because they are more productive and offer many more positive opportunities for health, materials and other economic and environmental advances

    Genetically Modified Organisms have made their way in to almost all processed foods in our stores today, not helping us to develop healthy attitudes. These processed foods were already considered unhealthy for us, but now with the addition of GMOs to these products, they lead to vitamin deficiency. More importantly we have become accustomed to the reality that GMOs are everywhere and we don’t know any other way.
    GMOs have found their way into our lives, as the David Suzuki Foundation says, “they were introduced as the answer to world hunger”, but instead they are “productive” in contributing to the withstanding obesity crisis, making already unhealthy foods, more unhealthy and worse for us, just to yield more in the farmer’s crops. Unfortunately for Canadians, we are unable to properly protect ourselves from these foods, because we have no policy that requires GMOs to be labeled as such. As the “Eyes of Nye” video expressed, it is important to know what we are eating, and what you are putting into your bodies.

    Sources:

    “Understanding GMO.” David Suzuki Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .

    The Eyes of Nye, Walt Disney, Genetically Modified Organisms Video

  4.    Mackenzie Bailey — April 14, 2014 @ 9:26 pm   

    Re: Taigan Dance – April 14, 2014

    In this entry it was stated that genetically modified food contributes to vitamin deficiency; however this is completely inaccurate. In third world countries malnutrition is a constant issue causing blindness from lack of vitamin A. To prevent blindness genetically modified golden rice is produced in these countries to provide the individuals with the essential vitamins they need to retain proper health (Bill Nye video).

    Not only are genetically modified foods essential in third world countries for supplying vitamin needs they are also able to provide vaccines as well. The vaccines are administered through the use of tomatoes and potatoes, making it “…much easier to ship, store, and administer than traditional injectable vaccines” (Whitman, 2000). This technology is extremely beneficial for the future of third world countries.

    The Eyes of Nye, Walt Disney, Genetically Modified Organisms Video

    Whitman, D. B. (2000, January 1). Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?. ProQuest. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php

  5.    Becca Hamilton — April 15, 2014 @ 2:04 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley, April 9, 2014

    For many, the idea of GMO’s seems healthy. However, according to Iowa State University, “some GMO foods have had antibiotic features added to them so they are resistant to certain diseases and viruses. When humans eat them, these antibiotics features persist in our bodies and make actual antibiotic medications less effective.” This means that by eating food that have antibiotic additives we could become immune to that specific antibiotic simply by eating that particular food. If we were ever to get sick then that antibiotic would be ineffective against certain diseases. By eating foods that have not been contaminated with anything, we are keeping ourselves free of any antibiotic resistance risk in the future.

    Another concern that Brown University discovered is that, “modified genes may escape into the wild.” The university has identified the possibility that a herbicide resistant gene can naturally cross into wild seeds. The result is that a super seed “that is resistant to herbicides can be created.” This means that the plants can spread rapidly because they will become harder to kill. These super seeds could then kill other crops. At this point in research there’s not much anyone could do to stop such an infestation.

    Kantor, K. (2013, April 16). Gmo’s – pros and cons. Retrieved from http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-957532

  6.    Ashley Hodgson — April 15, 2014 @ 6:22 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley, April 9, 2014

    There are many potential health effects associated with consuming GMOs, some of which include the development of new allergens, increased toxicity, decreased nutrition, autism as well as antibiotic resistance. As for the environment, environmental scientists do not know the long-term impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity dispersing GMOs could have as well as the threats they might pose to our water quality.
    According to GMO news, “Various feedings studies in animals have resulted in tumors, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, birth defects, reproductive problems and infertility.” Approximately 90% of all products sold at grocery stores contain GMO ingredients even though the consumption of those products are linked with, as expressed before, allergies, increased toxicity, decreased nutrition, autism and antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, GMOs have also been posing ecological risks, such as superweeds, pest resistance, and effects on non-target organisms.

    Sources:

    Edge, T., Gagné, F., & Lawrence, J. (n.d.). Water Science. Government of Canada, Environment Canada. Retrieved April 15, 2014.

    GMO: Harmful Effects. (n.d.). GMO: Harmful Effects. Retrieved April 15, 2014.

    Parent, R. (n.d.). About GMOs. Kids Right to Know. Retrieved April 15, 2014.

  7.    Sam.G — April 16, 2014 @ 3:41 pm   

    RE:Taigan Dance — April 14, 2014
    “‘They were introduced as the answer to world hunger”, but instead they are “productive” in contributing to the withstanding obesity crisis?’” Does obesity really have anything to do with GMO’s inside food? Obesity would not be the cause in “their vitamin deficiency”. The thing about GMO foods and animals is that they can be modified to the liking of whoever it is trying to benefit. Although many adjustments are made around their growth yield for farmers, it is not all for money’s sake. Many GMO’s are created with nutritional values in thought. Much of the juice people drink contains a vast amounts of vitamin C, iron, and fibre depending on the juice; typically not found in such concentrations naturally.
    “Golden Rice” is another great example of food that had been genetically modified to serve the people positively with nutritional value being eminently visible. Rice, maize, and wheat are the world’s most important crops. Rice makes up the main food source for almost half of the world’s population and with this importance of demand, especially in poor countries, it is easy to see why engineers were on the forefront of creating a meal sufficient enough to provide underprivileged being with the ability to eat rice that has an above average nutritional content. This same food is available to consumers everywhere, whether or not they choose to purchase it or not is up to them. The growing obesity epidemic is to be blamed on what people do to their food after it has been grown, not the people growing it with the help of natural genes.

    Sources:
    http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/genetically-modified-organisms-gmos-transgenic-crops-and-732
    http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/database/ingredients/204.vitamins.html

  8.    Emilee Newhouse — April 16, 2014 @ 5:35 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley -April 9, 2014

    GMO’s have many negative side effects especially in genetically modified corn that in fact will not help in solving world hunger and although it may give “added nutrients and vitamins” it increases many negative side effects. GM plants can effect our health poorly by the “new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies” that may be produced in the making of GM foods. Genetically modified corn also does not help with the fight against hunger problems in the world whereas “improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability” would be a start. GMO’s instead use money that could be diverted in to a more efficient way of trying to solve the hunger issue while not harming the food that would be eaten.

    Another concern with GMO’s is the harm they have on the environment. GM crops generally include the use of herbicides with are harmful to many ecosystems as well as bird and insects. Therefore, not only are GMO’s bad for the human body, but they also kill off many insects and birds that come in contact with them, while polluting water and reducing bio-diversity. It is known that “GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US” by making their habitats a poison for them. Although it is stated that GMO’s can be a positive impact on the world, it seems the negative side effects observed over rule, as the consequences are as harmful as killing.

    Institute for Responsible Technology. (n.d.). – 10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs. Retrieved April 13, 2014, from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs

  9.    Bethany Leferink — April 16, 2014 @ 7:15 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley, April 9th, 2014

    The use of GMOs may be infinite in food products, but they shouldn’t be used. When you stated “pesticides [are] bio-engineered into the corn which prevents insects from destroying crops,” those pesticides are being ingested by humans as well as any livestock, and even the soil growing those crops. The use of these pesticides can cause bio-magnification (“the process by which the concentration of toxic substances increases in each successive link in the food chain” – dictionary.com), bio-accumulation (“to build up within the tissues of organisms” – dictionary.com) and pesticide resistance (immunity against those pesticides; those insects will need a stronger pesticide to get rid of them). The use of pesticides in these crops will ultimately affect humans most because of bio-magnification.
    As stated in your entry, it was said that “[they] can help solve hunger issues.” There are other ways of solving hunger issues in the world such as providing the right equipment to the people in need so they can grow their own crop and be self-reliant, or we can ship them food as well. We do not need to resort to Genetically Modified foods to feed them; there are other options.
    “A genetically engineered variety of pig, called Enviropig was developed by scientists at the University of Guelph, with research starting in 1995 and government approval sought beginning in 2009. In 2012 the University announced an end to the Enviropig program, and the pigs themselves were euthanized in June 2012” (The Non GMO Project). This was conducted to change the saliva content making it easier for the pigs to digest 50%-75% of the grains phosphorus. Although this discovery could be beneficial to parts of our environment, the pigs were made the way they were for a reason. We shouldn’t be altering our animals just to benefit mankind.
    Some types of Genetically Modified Organisms may benefit people in the short term, but the continued use of pesticides to create these genetically modified foods can be harmful to many species. Why shouldn’t we eat natural food? Why are we trying to change what we already have?

    What is GMO?. (n.d.). The NonGMO Project RSS. Retrieved April 16, 2014,
    http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/

    “Bioaccumulation.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 16 Apr. 2014. .

    “Biomagnification.” The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. 16 Apr. 2014. .

  10.    Isaac M — April 16, 2014 @ 8:14 pm   

    Re: owen april,9 2014

    The negative effects of GMO’s overpower the positive effects. Not only are GMO’s bad for animals, they are harming to the economy and the environment Many studies have been done on this topic, an example of an animal who is effected by GMO’s is the monarch butterfly. This beautiful creature is dying because GMO’s are made to kill weeds. Some people this may view this as a good thing, however, to the monarch this is harmful They use milkweed (a weed) to lay their eggs on and that they feed from this plants as well. The Monarch can no longer do this because the milkweed is getting destroyed by GMO’s. Now its not only the monarch’s that are suffering other organisms are suffering as well. The population of bees is decreasing in both USA and Canada, many scientists believe that this problem is directly related to the use Genetically modified organisms Bees are essential for cross pollination The environment is not the only thing at risk , GMO’s also suck money right out of our pockets. Most people are not aware of this fact because GMO’s are not being appropriately labelled. The government is spending huge amounts on GMO based products and very little on natural alternatives.These food high in saturated fats and sugars are contributing to medical care costs that are enormous , “The annual medical cost of obesity reached $147 billion in 2008. The Medicare and Medicaid spending for obesity-related conditions now totals $61 billion per year. Heart disease costs $189.4 billion per year and that cost is expected to triple by 2030. Cancer costs $102.8 billion per year. Diabetes costs $128.1 billion annually.” (GMO awareness) These stats overwhelming just think about how much money is leaving are pockets because we are getting sick eating genetically modified foods. eThe negative effects of GMO’s greatly out way the positive effects of theses products.

    “GMO Risks.” GMO Awareness. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .

  11.    Suyrea — April 16, 2014 @ 8:17 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley
    “GMOs are beneficial when compared to natural plants and animals because they are more productive and offer many more positive opportunities for health, materials and other economic and environmental advances.”
    the claim that GMO’s are beneficial compared to natural plants and that they offer more positive opportunities for economic and environmental advances is wrong. For example, the multinational corporation Monsanto is waging war against the independent farmer through the use of genetically modified seed of soybeans. While it is true that Monsanto’s soybean seed can produce more because it is a patent protected seed the farmer must purchase the seed from Monsanto every planting season. This is impairs the farmer’s ability to be self-sufficient through the time honoured tradition of harvesting part of the crop for next years seed.
    Source :
    “Monsanto.” – Metapedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. .

  12.    Owen Stickley — April 17, 2014 @ 8:31 pm   

    Re: Ashley Hodgson April 15, 2014

    It has not been yet proven that GMOs can cause issues such as increased toxicity, autism and new allergens. If they did, would we not see these problem rising up in society at an ever increasing rate? With the overall amount of food products that have GMOs in them on the market, we would have already seen at least a few minor issues arise. Also, many companies that produce GMOs Have stated that “GM foods are as healthy, if not healthier, than their unmodified counterparts”, as some of them have been modified to have a greater nutritional value.

    Research is also beginning to show that plants that are genetically modified are able to be used as edible vaccines. Instead of having to go get a shot, patients will be able to eat a certain kind of plant and receive the vaccine. There also may be opportunity to create vaccines using these plants that can protect people from “a wide variety of infectious diseases ranging from cholera to potentially AIDS”. Things like this could be revolutionary in the medical field.
    Highly Beneficial: Increased Yield and Hardiness. (n.d.). Globalization101. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from http://www.globalization101.org/highly-beneficial-increased-yield-and-hardiness/
    Benefits of GM Food:. (n.d.). GMO. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from http://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmpe080e/Spring05/projects/gmo/benefits.htm

  13.    Brittany P. — April 17, 2014 @ 10:07 pm   

    RE: Mackenzie Bailey- April 14, 2014; Sam G.- April 16, 2014

    Though it is true that there are many beneficial factors to experimenting and using GMO’s, such as the creation and mass production of ‘Golden’ rice, there are more risks than benefits.

    “Genetically modified organisms are not safe” (Smith’ 2008). Though ‘Golden’ rice is an extraordinary breakthrough in the scientific and food community, some GMO’s can have wide spread and unpredictable changes throughout the crop growth, possibly creating genetically modified protein that may have Unintended properties and effects (Smith, 2008). As well, saying that “‘Golden’ rice is another great example of food that had been genetically modified” is overshooting; ‘Golden’ rice has not yet been proven to cure vitamin A for malnourished kids in third world countries, and has not yet fully cured a single case of vitamin A deficiency (Sauven, 2013). Though ‘Golden’ rice and GMO’s have a few benefits, ‘Golden’ rice, at this point, cannot solve the problem of malnourished kids, and finding an alternative way to solve malnutrition in third world countries may be better (Patterson, 2013).

    There are many potential risks to using GMO’s, such as possible soy allergies created and liver problems, and can cause serious damage (Smith, 2008). Though not all GMO’s create health problems, not all of the risks are known and it is better to put time and research into a safer form of food.

    Smith, Jeffrey. “Spilling the Beans: Unintended GMO Health Risks”. Organic Consumers Association. March 2008.

    Sauven, John. “There is undeniable risk in producing GM rice that the Environment Secretary is proposing”. Independent. October 14, 2013.

    Paterson, Owen. “You can’t just genetically modify your way out of poverty”. GMWater. October 15, 2013.

  14.    Sam Featherstone — April 17, 2014 @ 11:01 pm   

    Re: Owen, April 9th
    “GMOs are beneficial when compared to natural plants and animals because they are more productive and offer many more positive opportunities for health.”
    GMO’s are negative to our health and can pose significant threats to our well-being. GMO’s are often heavily sprayed with glyphosate and therefore have a much lower concentration of nutrients than organic foods. Glyphosate is the active ingredient that is found in the herbicide created by Monsanto – Roundup. Roundup is used on many genetically modified organisms and contains high amounts of pesticides that are proven to cause negative health effects and allergenic proteins. Glyphosate immobilizes the nutrients found in natural foods causing them to be physiologically unavailable for your body (Mercola 2013). If people are eating foods from which their bodies cannot extract the nutrients and minerals they require, then negative health effects will occur. Nutrient and mineral deficiencies can cause both mental and physical problems such as osteoporosis and premature hair loss. The proteins that are created in GMO’s are allergenic and can promote diseases such as kidney failure and cancer (Mercola 2013). GMO’s can cause the bacterial population of the intestines to be altered and then transferred by the novel genes and affect the human genome. GMO’s can be highly toxic to human health and are more negative to our health than organic foods.

    Mercola. (2013, September 6). Dr. Huber: Things You Need to Know About GMO and Roundup. Mercola.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/06/dr-huber-gmo-foods.aspx

  15.    Corel McMahon — April 18, 2014 @ 10:54 am   

    Re: Owen Stickley April 17/14.

    GMOs are beneficial when compared to natural plants and animals because they are more productive and offer many more positive opportunities for health, materials and other economic and environmental advances.

    I completely disagree with this statement regarding the many benefits of Genetically Modified Organisms. The listed “benefits” above have not been proven, especially not in long terms. The dispute regarding the growth of farmer’s pesticide and herbicide resistant crops has not gained any advances, but only the opposite creating larger environmental, economic, and health issues. Instead, “bugs and weeds have become increasingly resistant to the widespread applications of these chemicals, leading to increased use of both” (David Suzuki Foundation). The more the farmers must spray their crops, the more money is spent, causing even more health concerns and damage on the environment. As a result, the more widespread of diversity from the production of Genetically Modified Organisms will only add to the growing concerns.

  16.    Corel McMahon — April 18, 2014 @ 11:00 am   

    My Source*
    Re: Owen Stickley April 17/14.

    Understanding GMO. (n.d.). David Suzuki Foundation. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo/?gclid=CL-AscCt6r0CFYZcMgodGwYACA

  17.    Jenna Deehan — April 19, 2014 @ 8:01 pm   

    RE: Owen Stickley April 9, 2014
    In your statement you said that GMO’s solve the problem of a hungry world. This is not true. In the world today we produce more than enough food for the world, however the real problem that no one is talking about is how are you getting it there? They’re not.The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development states that “current GMO’s have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty”(10 Reasons to avoid GMO’s). So yes scientists can say it good for the hungry world. but they’re not doing anything about it.

    The plants that have herbicide bio engineered into them is in no way safe. Due to the overuse of these herbicides there are weeds out there that are called super weeds. Super weeds have a herbicide resistance to them, so each year farmers have to keep using stronger herbicides to keep them down. when farmers use stronger herbicides in their crops it kills a lot of biodiversity in their farm. In our society we have enough chemicals and toxins in our food already. It’s time to seriously think about the food we eat at home.

    “Herbicide resistant crops.” Herbicide resistant crops. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2014.

    “Institute for Responsible Technology.” – 10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

  18.    Ashley Hodgson — April 21, 2014 @ 2:04 pm   

    Re : Owen Stickley — April 17, 2014
    “Research is also beginning to show that plants that are genetically modified are able to be used as edible vaccines. Instead of having to go get a shot, patients will be able to eat a certain kind of plant and receive the vaccine.”

    Although eating a plant to receive a vaccine may seem valuable, there is antibiotic resistance to take into consideration. According to Organic Consumers Association, “Genetically modified genes in food crops can jump from one species to another and can cause bacteria in the new host to mutate” this important to human health because one of the genes used in the procedure is a gene resistant to the antibiotics (Organic Consumers). Joe Cummins, Ph.D. says, “I have found that the antibiotics used in GM crops are used in surgery and to treat a number of diseases” (Organic Consumers). If these antibiotics are being used in the food we eat, our bodies will develop antibiotic resistance and will be unable to help in medical situations.

    There are pesticides in GMO plants and these pesticides are new to humans, at this point, we don’t know how our bodies will handle them (Connealy). However, “we do know that pesticides are linked to cancer, neurological diseases, and a number of other very serious health concerns” (Connealy) so do we really want to put these potential risks into our bodies? Not to mention, early 2013 an Oregon farmer found GMO wheat growing in fields where he hadn’t planted it if cross-contamination continues then humans might make “us all unwilling guinea pigs in a massive and very dangerous experiment” (Connealy).

    Sources :
    Traynor, M. (n.d.). Hazards of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in GE Foods. Hazards of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in GE Foods. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
    Connealy, L. E. (n.d.). GMOs: The Pros & Cons of Genetically Modified Food – Newport Natural Health. Newport Natural Health GMOs The Pros Cons of Genetically Modified Food Comments. Retrieved April 21, 2014.

  19.    Jaclyn Glover — April 21, 2014 @ 2:14 pm   

    RE: Dana Murray, April 9th

    To your statement “it is also stated that Genetically Modified Organisms have a decrease in nutritional value” is not true. The ability for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) to have valuable nutrition levels are great for humans that are suffering form malnutrition.

    Human health is not achievable unless adequate amounts of nutritious and safe foods are available and accessible during all life ages. One third of the worlds population, including third world countries suffer from food and nutrition instability. “Most consumers in rich countries have access to a relatively inexpensive supply of safe and healthy food” (IUNS) therefore abusing the GMO’s true purpose. While third world countries thrive off of the GMO crops ability to be “resistant to viruses, fungi, and bacterial growth, the crops have the ability to be engineered to be naturally pest-resistant, undermining the need for pesticide chemicals, and also that these crops can tolerate extreme weather conditions, such as droughts, allowing for a geographically diverse range of growth sites. The rich consumers need to think less about the making there food the best when there are other countries that cannot grow food at all. Time to start making our world equal.

    Resources:
    “GMO Food Debate in The National Spotlight” Forbes. N.p., n.d. Monday 21 April. 2014
    “Statement of Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Food for Human Health and Nutrition” IUNS. N.p., n.d. Monday 21 April. 2014

  20.    Abby Ruppert — April 21, 2014 @ 5:07 pm   

    re: Owen Stickley- April 9th
    ” GMOs are beneficial when compared to natural plants and animals because they are more productive and offer many more positive opportunities for health, materials and other economic and environmental advances.” When GMOs were first introduced, there were thought to be the answer to world hunger but, we have come to discover that this is in fact untrue. Animals, bugs and other pests have become resistant to the pesticides and so more pesticides are spread, increasing costs for farmers, decreasing yield and ultimately not being beneficial to our society.

    Monsanto is the biggest selling company of genetically modified organism seed and they also supply a large amount of pesticides and herbicides. The negative effects that these GMOs produced by this seed company and their product are cross pollination and the production of “super weeds” that then become resistant to herbicides and are difficult to remove. This leads to an increase in pesticide and herbicide use to remove all pests to crops which becomes a major problem for the environment.

    sources:
    http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo/
    http://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmpe080e/Spring05/projects/gmo/negative.htm

  21.    Becca Hamilton — April 21, 2014 @ 5:08 pm   

    Re: Mackenzie Bailey, April.14/14

    “Genetically modified golden rice is produced in these countries to provide the individuals with the essential vitamins they need to retain proper health.”

    This statement is not entirely true. The rice seems like an option that could help so many people that really need it all over the world. However, it is far from that. The rice is not a healthy option for the people eating it. After 10 years of giving malnourished people Golden Rice, nothing has changed. The same amount of people are still going blind or dying every year (Greenpeace). As Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that has created it” (Seedfreedom).

    One of the specific herbicides used on the GMO rice, glufosinate, poses such a large risk to humans and plant life that it is actually in the process of being banned from Europe (Genetically Modified Rice). It is a very dangerous chemical that is far from healthy for consumers. A few solutions that could be even more helpful to malnourished people than golden rice are; growing vegetables alongside the rice and taking vitamin A supplements. These solutions could save lives.

    Sources used:
    “Greenpeace, Golden Rice and vitamin A deficiency.” Greenpeace UK. Retrieved April 21, 2014

    Shiva, V. “GOLDEN RICE – MYTH NOT MIRACLE.” Seed Freedom. Retrieved April 21, 2014

    “Positive and Negative Aspects – Genetically Modified Rice.” Positive and Negative Aspects – Genetically Modified Rice. Retrieved April 21, 2014

  22.    Becca Hamilton — April 21, 2014 @ 6:51 pm   

    Re: Jaclyn Glover, April 21, 2014

    To your statement, “The rich consumers need to think less about the making there food the best when [their] are other countries that cannot grow food at all. Time to start making our world equal,” this is not realistic. As much as people want to be equal, economy/money wise, this is not going to happen anytime soon. If we have the money to afford good, nutritious food, why would we all eat genetically modified food? If people feel the need to spend their money on food that they think will benefit themselves more, then they should be allowed to. People should not be forced to eat food that they don’t feel is healthy, just to be equal with places that can’t afford natural products.

    There are many examples to show that GMO food really isn’t as healthy as people think it is. The first one would be that “A preliminary study from the Russian National Academy of Sciences [found] that more than half the offspring of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks (compared to 9% from mothers fed natural soy)” (Natural Revolution). Also, “The estimated 10,000 sheep that died in India within 5-7 days of grazing on GM cotton plants engineered to produce their own Bt-toxin pesticide” (Natural Revolution). WE may not think that the GMO produced food is dangerous for humans, but there are hundreds of examples that show that they are dangerous for animals. Is it really worth killing thousands of animals to save money? And seeing what it does to animals don’t you think that it has a negative effect on people too?

    “The Good, Bad and Ugly about GMO’s”. Natural Revolution. Retrieved April 21, 2014

  23.    Mackenzie Bailey — April 21, 2014 @ 8:00 pm   

    Re: Ashley Hodgson – April 15, 2014

    This individual states that there are potential health effects from the use of GMOs; however they are potential they have not been proved. Italian scientists summarized 1,783 scientific studies and came to the conclusion that “‘the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically modified crops’…” (Bailey, 2013). These risks she presented are potential, they have not been proved. Also there has “…never been a single credible scientific study showing GMOs to have harmful effects on humans, animals or our environment” (Bailey, 2013). Society needs to stop living in fear and carry out beneficial methods of crop production, such as GMOs, to better the life of all individuals on Earth.

    Instead of individuals getting caught up with minor potential effects, they should look at the multiple benefits of GMOs, such as lower prices. If GMOS were not used in agriculture production “…the cost of key agricultural commodities would go up 15 percent to 30 percent (Bailey, 2013). BY using GMOs in agricultural, the cost of pesticides is being saved by reducing the use of 1.04 billion pounds of pesticides from 1996-2011 (Bailey, 2013). Also this data is only until 2011; therefore we have saved more pesticides, as it is 2014. Along with saving costs by using GMOs, the use of GMOs also has environmental benefits by diminishing the usage of pesticides.

    Works Cited

    Bailey, P. (2013, November 4). GMOs Are Nothing to Fear. US News. Retrieved April 20, 2014, from http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/11/04/scientific-evidence-doesnt-show-gmos-are-harmful.

  24.    Aleeshia Carman — April 23, 2014 @ 8:57 am   

    Re: Owen – April 9, 2014

    In rebuttal to Owen’s comment “[GMO’s] offer many more positive opportunities for health”, I completely disagree.

    GMO’s are advancements in agriculture, but they are not healthier than natural food and do possess many health disadvantages. Firstly, they cause reverse effects on the immune system. A study in 2008 showed that when mice were fed GMOs for thirty days, the immune system produced irregular cell functions in the body (Greenfield). Secondly, GMOs are a very unnatural way to produce food that can cause long-term effects to the crops and new allergies have been discovered for humans as a result of GMOs (Greenfield). Lastly, scientists have discovered that the ingredients in GMOs can cause malignant tumors, which cause cancer (Greenfield). In conclusion, GMOs have advanced in agriculture, but they have caused humans to take a step back in health.

    Greenfield, J. (March 16, 2011). Just What Are GM Foods?. Off The Grid News. Retrieved , from http://www.offthegridnews.com/2011/03/16/just-what-are-gm-foods/

  25.    Jordan Charles — April 23, 2014 @ 8:22 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley, April 9, 2014
    In response to the statement, “they also have pesticides bioengineered in to the corn which prevent insects from destroying the crop,” I must say, while that may be true for the first few years of growing a GM crop, it is not helpful for the crop or the environment later on.
    The problem with pesticides engineered right into the crop is that even though it does get rid of many unwanted bugs, the strongest of bugs survive creating a class of super bugs, which are resistant to future pesticides. In response to these super bugs destroying their GM crop, farmers are forced to use even harsher chemicals to get rid of these pests, which increase their operating cost of the GM farm, and increases pollution levels. (Listverse)
    Sources
    10 Problems Genetically Modified Foods Are Already Causing – Listverse. (n.d.). Listverse. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from http://listverse.com/2013/06/22/10-problems-genetically-modified-foods-are-already-causing/

  26.    Tianna — April 23, 2014 @ 8:26 pm   

    Re: Mackenzie Bailey
    “Society needs to stop living in fear and carry out beneficial methods of crop production, such as GMOs, to better the life of all individuals on Earth.”

    Society has every reason to be in fear of such ‘beneficial’ methods of crop production. “Allergic reactions in humans occur when a normally harmless protein enters the body and stimulates an immune response (Bernstein et al., 2003)… If the novel protein in a GM food comes from a source that is known to cause allergies in humans or a source that has never been consumed as human food, the concern that the protein could elicit an immune response in humans increases”. Just because GMO’s means more production does not mean it better’s society. Anything that is not naturally produced, with added antibiotic features that could be rejected by our bodies is not comforting in the sense of fear.

    http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html

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