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.    Hazen Mercer — November 6, 2014 @ 5:17 pm   

    In my opinion, GMO’s are of no harm to our society and I believe that they can only be beneficial towards its consumers. Shown in “The Eyes of Nye” video we watched today, GMO’s do not cause any damage to our body, whether it would interior or exterior. An example is corn. Our generation (1998’s) have been eating, digesting and producing waste from these GMO’s and not once have we had any problem nor any idea of what exactly we were consuming and I know I certainly did not have any clue of what normal corn without GMO’s looks and tastes like it compared to one that is genetically modified. On another note, do we not want the use of pesticides to decrease? About 1.5 million people are poisoned and/or die from pesticides every year. If we used as many GMO’s as we do pesticides, we would be saving those lives each year. GMO’s are beneficial to everyone, including the ones who are against them.

    http://www2.mcdaniel.edu/Biology/eh01/pesticides/pro,consof_pesticides.html

  7.    Anneke Froentjes — November 6, 2014 @ 6:06 pm   

    GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Genetically modified crops do not decrease the use of pesticides, they actually increase them. Secondly, they drastically increase the use of herbicides. Crops have been given a gene that gives them the ability to be immune to herbicides and pesticides which means that it can be sprayed all over the crops to kill all the weeds and bugs. A recent study found that total volume of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s “Round Up”) increased from 15 million pounds in 1996 to 159 million pounds in 2012. Overall pesticide use decreased only in the first few years genetically engineered crops were used (42 percent between 1998 and 2001) and has since then risen by 26 percent from 2001 to 2010 (Hoffman 2013).

    The mono-cultures of crops are all created and engineered the same way. The companies are doing it to produce as much genetically identical food as possible to increase profit. This is extremely dangerous because if a pest such as a bacteria or insect population came along that the crop was not resistant to, the entire crop would be wiped out. These pests have a wild population each with its own biodiversity, and their populations are constantly changing and adapting to crops in order to eat or benefit from them. Mono-culture crops, however, are not changing, and unable to adapt because they have no genetic variability and may not be reproduced naturally. This risk of mass crop extinction leads farmers to spray even more pesticides and herbicides onto the plants.

    References:

    Hoffman, B. (2013, July 2). GMO Crops Mean More Herbicide, Not Less. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2013/07/02/gmo-crops-mean-more-herbicide-not-less

  8.    Mitchell Curry — November 6, 2014 @ 11:35 pm   

    GM corn may have higher yields but the corn comes with some bad side effects. Bt corn is supposed to help countries with poverty. However BT corn was tested on some organisms and it ends up that GM corn has many links to kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs. Other effects were noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen, and hepatorenal system (www.medicaldaily.com, 2014).
    The way the GM gets these side effects are from hepatorenal toxicity acquired from the specialized pesticides for the GM corn. Although the GM corn makes a higher yield it puts consumers to risk from all the problems with the corn. I believe that the GM corn could be changed for the better however money is the biggest influence on the ethics of the corn. I believe if the makers of GM corn weren’t in it for the money we could have a GM corn that gets rid of all these side effects and add benefits to eating them.

  9.    Shannan Peck — November 7, 2014 @ 9:39 am   

    RE: Original Statement

    GMOs will not assist in the reduction of pesticide use nor crop yield improvement, and I can speak from both a scientific and experienced view.

    The cash crop of the region was canola, a genetically modified organism derived from something known as rapeseed, except with lower levels of eruric acid and glucosinolate (Nelson Biology, 11). Very few to no one grew anything else-a very high and unhealthy level of monoculture. Pesticides were bought by the barrel and the fields were often saturated in round up and other pesticides. Almost none of it was natural.

    If a disease had gotten into the crops, the region would have been devastated. Over half of the entire region depended on that sole crop alone-and not a single person could have been considered wealthy to begin with.

    Monoculture is a highly risky method of business. Traditionally, farmers would plant multiple of one crop, so if one failed, the others would live on. Different plants suffer different diseases-just like animals, and other organisms. Genetically modified organisms have been given a level of hyper-confidency. Which is shown through the amount of food on shelves with them. Anything that contains corn, canola, sugar beet (which is used to make white sugar), soy, cottonseed oil, some milk products, squash or some papaya is genetically modified (Canada Biotechnology Action Network). Any product tends to be grown in monoculture, if a disease struck a region-or even a nation’s supply like the Irish potato famine-it will have disastrous effects in the affected region, or even globally.

    To return back to the pesticides, the pesticides and GMO crops often work together so a product is modified to remove all plants but the crop (Disney). So not only does it ruin diversity in the field, it encourages the use of that pesticide. After all, if the crop is guaranteed to be safe against one pesticide, why use any other thing?

    Ritter, D., Adam-Carr, C., & Fraser, D. (2002). Selective Breeding. In Nelson Biology 11 (p. 141). Canada: Nelson Thomas Learning.

    GE Crops and Foods (On the Market). (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/GE-Crops-and-Foods-On-the-Market

    Eyes of Nye-GMOs [Motion picture on DVD]. (2005). United States: Disney

  10.    Quinsea McKenna — November 7, 2014 @ 7:41 pm   

    RE: Owen Stickly
    Rebuttling to the comment about the spider silk being injected into goat DNA sounds both cruel and unethical. It is not natural to mix species DNA therefore it should not happen, no matter the outcome.

    GMO’s have made their way into everything we eat these days. Why? The answer is definitely not for a consumers health. Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1994. The percentage of Canadians with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise (Health Canada). Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors tell us not to wait before we start protecting ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk. I am embarrassed as a Canadian to say that Canada is pushing hard to forward this technology.

    “Threats to Sources of Drinking Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in Canada.” Government of Canada, Environment Canada. N.p., n.d.

  11.    Brooke Raynsford — November 7, 2014 @ 8:26 pm   

    Re: Shannan Peck

    Although GMO’s currently have many disadvantages and risks, such as increased pesticide use and larger loss of yield in the event of a disease, there is also great potential behind this technology.

    Genetically modified organisms could have many benefits that would far outweigh the risks if scientists continue to research and perfect them. It is currently estimated that, worldwide, a child dies every two seconds from starvation and hundreds of thousands of people are mal or undernourished (Edwards 2005). Genetically Modified food could potentially be a start to solving world hunger. Genetically modified foods are sustainable, have better resistance to common pests, diseases and weeds, create more efficient use of land and thus larger crop yields and have longer in-store shelf lives (Edwards 2005). Furthermore, there is currently no solid, irrefutable evidence that GMO’s are unsafe for human consumption. In conclusion GMO’s are far more beneficial than they are risky and this technology should continue to be researched and perfected.

    Genetically Modified Foods. (June 6, 2005). Benefits of GM Food. Retrieved November 5, 2014. http://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmpe080e/Spring05/projects/gmo/benefits.htm

  12.    Luke Ambrose — November 7, 2014 @ 10:06 pm   

    Re: original statement

    GMOs have no benefits to support consistent use to the people who consume them in developed and undeveloped countries. Other than, the rise in higher demands for more less costly quantities of food. That are not benefiting you, but just increasing profits for huge companies.

    The GMO food production was promoted as a means of feeding the individuals that are living in poverty. With producing rice containing vitamin A known as “Golden rice” being the answer to ending blindness and malnutrition in undeveloped countries. To produce golden rice, it requires expensive fertilizers and pesticides in which farmers in developing countries could simply not afford the cost. While clean water is usually scarce causing blindness, it is a and a major requirement to produce golden rice. The proper amount of golden rice needed to nourish a young boy is 27 bowls a day to actually have an effect, which is impossible for people in undeveloped countries achieve (Felcon 1). GMOs are huge contributors to health problems like gastrointestinal system problems, infertility, trouble with insulin balance and failing organs which the best way to avoid these problems are eating GMO free, if you can (The Institute for Responsible Technology). GMOs have been proven to not yield any higher amount of crops than organic and chemical free crops making GMOs a benefit to businesses and not people (Felcon 1).

    Becka, F. GMO-Free Could Benefit Global Health http://borgenproject.org

    http://www.responsibletechnology.org/

  13.    Hannah Martin — November 7, 2014 @ 10:59 pm   

    While GMOs are beneficial and do help in malnutrition prevention and create food that is more appealing and delicious then the original food it has many problems attached to it. Due to plants being genetically modified with an insecticide gene it is creating a new generation of super bugs that are resistant to crops with the GMO gene and those who just spray on pesticides which means we will have to spray even stronger pesticides which could affect our health in the long run. Another problem is due to most plants having the insecticide gene it is killing our beneficial bugs such as bees and butterflies who are becoming an endangered species which means less plants will be pollenated in the near future. GMO’s are also destroying biodiversity clearing the land of native plants and replacing it with one type of perfect GMO crop that will make corporations more money. Aside from affecting the environment, it is also impacting us as humans. As humans begin eating the GMO food there has been an increase in health problems such as allergies, and chronic illnesses since GMOs were introduced in 1996. Studies done on animals that ate the GMO food showed organ damage, immune system disorders, and infertility. Other studies showed how the food can leave material inside of us causing long-term problems. In conclusion GMOs have an impact on the environment and human health proving there are more problems than good attached to it.

    Responsibletechnology.org,. (2014). Institute for Responsible Technology – 10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs. Retrieved 8 November 2014, from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs
    Listverse,. (2014). 10 Problems Genetically Modified Foods Are Already Causing – Listverse. Retrieved 8 November 2014, from http://listverse.com/2013/06/22/10-problems-genetically-modified-foods-are-already-causing/

  14.    Julia Duits — November 7, 2014 @ 11:08 pm   

    Re: Original statement
    I strongly believe that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are not beneficial in playing a role in malnutrition prevention, improving crop yield and decreasing pesticide use because GMOs are harmful organisms. They have a poisonous gene that apply an effect on the crops. The crops and other foods will not taste as natural. Also GMOs have a significant amount of infestation diseases. The main problem KGB GMOs is that they will cause cancer and now a days humans are researching ways to prevent cancer. One scientist stated that GMOs “can increase growth of malignant tumours upon contact with humans (Dr. Stanley Eden) this statement proves that GMOs are not beneficial to human health. I believe that GMOs are just created to make money and that no one truly believes about the negative effects it could have on human health.
    I will agree that they do improve crop yield and make us humans more money but in order to make the money we have to use pesticides which every human knows is very negative to our health. More GMOs will equal more problems.
    Therefore, I believe that GMOs are not beneficial to humans life style.
    Newcision.co.ug. Peter Sunday. Aug.15.2014. Nov.6.2014.0

  15.    Spencer Strandholt — November 8, 2014 @ 1:06 am   

    GMO’s are beneficial if compared to organically grown food because it is more efficient. GMO’s are also used for added health benefits.This results in more economic and less hunger issues. Unlike popular belief, there is no threat to humans because of GMO’s as of September 17th/14. (Entine,Jon) An example of a plant that is genetically modified is corn. (CBAN) Corn has been modified to produce a perfect corn that is cheaper and more efficient to make. This genetically modified corn is resistant to fungal and bacterial infections. This results in more corn to be sold and eaten. (Pickut, Walt) An example of an animal that is genetically modified is a hypoallergenic pet. This example would confuse people to why this a GMO. A hypoallergenic pet is a GMO because it crossed with another species to have the trait of not shedding. This is a great example because many humans are allergic to pet hair.(J,Lisa) To conclude, I believe that GMO’s as of now pose no threat to human health and have many benefits. Many people are uneducated about the topic and assume that GMO’s are harmful to human health but they do not even know what GMO stands for… (Kimmel, Jimmy)

    Kimmel, J. (2014, October 9). What’s a GMO? Retrieved November 7, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzEr23XJwFY

    CBAN – Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. (2014, January 1). Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/GE-Crops-and-Foods-On-the-Market

    Pickut, W. (2013, August 16). What Are the Benefits of GMO Corn? Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/254564-what-are-the-benefits-of-gmo-corn/

    Entine, J. (2014, September 17). The Debate About GMO Safety Is Over, Thanks To A New Trillion-Meal Study. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2014/09/17/the-debate-about-gmo-safety-is-over-thanks-to-a-new-trillion-meal-study/

  16.    Andrew Hanley — November 8, 2014 @ 1:41 pm   

    In rebuttal to the statement made by Mackenzie “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).” the nutritional value of golden rice has les then 10% of your daily vitamin A requirement (Nye) making it more of a novelty food than any real way to solve the vitamin A deficiency in third world countries.

    One issue with genetically modified food is making them roundup ready and pesticide resistant. Insects and plants are becoming more and more resistant to GMO crops (Suzuki). These insects and weeds are going to be a problem in the nearby future when no pesticide or herbicides will kill them, and they are killing all the crops. The state that our agriculture will be in a couple of years will be the same state as our antibiotics right now.

    Understanding GMO. (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2014, from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo

  17.    Brayden W — November 8, 2014 @ 11:58 pm   

    Re: Original Statement
    GMO’s are a broad group of genetically modified plants, animals, and bacteria for agricultural productions, and scientific research. GMO’s can result in a number of different beneficial outcomes such as nutrient improvements, disease resistance, pest resistance, and tolerance to harsh environments, but are GMO’s completely beneficial? Are they safe?
    GMO’s are not completely beneficial, nor are they safe. GMO’s harm the environment, they reduce biodiversity, pollute water sources, and are unsustainable. For example, ” GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose population are down to 50% in the US, Roundup herbicide shave been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths, endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at low dosages” (care2. Inc). Another example, “A GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies”(care2.inc). GMO’s have been proven to be both beneficial and non-beneficial, but even then the beneficial outcomes result in negative results, for example, the use of glyphosate, which is an active ingredient of the most widely used herbicide (mostly used for soybean cultivation) is beneficial for being less toxic then others resulting in less contamination in crops, but when consumed glyphosate has been proven to effect only the human hormone resulting in (most commonly) independent breast cancer.

    Resources:
    http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    http://enhs.umn.edu
    http://os.care2.com

  18.    Adam Jutzi — November 9, 2014 @ 3:18 pm   

    Re:Julia Duits
    After reading your article I must say I strongly disagree some of your opinions. Contrary to your statement of “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are not beneficial in…improving crop yield .”(lines 2-4) G.M.Os have absolutely increased crop yield in fact genetically modified crops are shown to increase crop yields by 1.7 percent (genetically-modified-crops).
    I also disagree with your idea that ” The [G.M.O] crops and other foods will not taste as natural” (line 6) because it is impossible to tell what truly tastes natural. For example corn started out as teosinte, a plant with only a few pieces of corn each covered in a husk. It was through artificial selection and early genetic engineering that we got what is now called corn(The Evolution of Corn). On top of this did you know that carrots weren’t originally orange? They were many different colours. But in the mid-16th century the Orange-Nassau were the Dutch royal family, so the farmers starting only breeding orange carrots to please the royals (Explainer: why are carrots orange?).
    This means that if you eat corn or orange carrots you are eating genetically modified food. so your argument that genetically modifying a food changes its taste isn’t true.
    References:
    Genetic Science Learning Center, “The Evolution of Corn,” Learn.Genetics, 22 June 2014, (9 November 2014)
    “Explainer: why are carrots orange?” December 26 2013, 5.13pm, http://theconversation.com/explainer-why-are-carrots-orange-20646
    Genetically Modified Crops, retrieved Sunday, November 9, 2014, http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/genetically-modified-crops

  19.    Jasmin Tuhkasaari — November 9, 2014 @ 10:12 pm   

    A GMO (a genetically modified organism) is a result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering or Genetic Modification, they are one and the same. In addition to foods, GMOs are also widely used in scientific research and pharmaceuticals. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. Although GMO’s have many disadvantages and risks, there is also big potential in these studies. GMO’s are already in most of the food that Canadians eat daily. Worldwide GMO’s are in all kinds of food. Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. “In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs”(GMO FACTS) . In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans and Canadians are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment, and have a different and better outlook on GMO’s then the rest of the world. Canadians and Americans believe that GMO’s have a bright future in saving crops, 3rd world countries that are starving, it can make vaccines and generally make our world a better place with this pursuing technology.

    GMO Facts.” The NonGMO Project RSS. Web. 7 Nov. 2014. .

    “Genetically Modified Organism.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 June 2014. Web. 07 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

    "Labelling of Genetically Engineered Foods in Canada." Government of Canada,Canadian Food Inspection Agency,Food Labelling and Claims Directorate. Web. 07 Nov. 2014.

    “10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health.” CollectiveEvolution RSS. Web. 7 Nov. 2014. .

  20.    Keeley Malloy — November 11, 2014 @ 10:33 pm   

    Re: Hazen Mercer
    In your article you state the following, “GMO’s do not cause any damage to our body, whether it would interior or exterior.” which is false. In 2011 Gilles-Eric Séralini a scientist from the University of Caen, France, conducted a study on 200 rats that were fed Round-Up tolerant over a period of 90 days, genetically modified corn. Result from his research showed that “30% control males (three in total) and 20% females (only two) died spontaneously”(Séralini) those were the rats that were fed organic corn, where as the mortality rate in rats fed the round-up tolerant corn proved to be much higher “…up to 50% males and 70% females died in some groups on diets containing the GM maize” (Séralini).
    Not only did the rats fed GM corn have a higher mortality rate, they also developed tumours weighing up to 25% of the rat’s body mass, “GM treated groups had to be euthanized due to kidney Wilm’s tumors that were over 25% of body weight.”.
    Now, see rats are often the most common testing subject due to the fact that their genetic, biological, and behavioural traits are similar to those of a human (Melina.). There for, if GM corn disables a living being to the point of immobilization, or death, why is it being fed to us?

    Séralini, G. (2012, September 19). Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Retrieved November 10, 2014, from http://www.gmoseralini.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/GES-final-study-19.9.121.pdf

    Melina, R. (2010, November 16). Why Do Medical Researchers Use Mice? Retrieved November 10, 2014, from http://www.livescience.com/32860-why-do-medical-researchers-use-mice.html

  21.    Quinsea McKenna — November 21, 2014 @ 12:38 pm   

    Re: Julia Duits

    The statement “they have a poisonous gene that apply an effect on the crops” is inaccurate according to the Oxford Dictionary definition of GMOs which is: “ A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there” (Oxford). They use techniques to engineer GMO’s and do not use any additives like “poison” to enhance their function.

    A common question people have is: are GMO’s safe? and the answer is yes. There are no inherent differences between foods produced from genetically modified plants and those from non-genetically modified crops. All living things contain DNA, and all DNA consists of the same four building blocks, known as nucleotides. By moving a piece of DNA from one organism into another, scientists are not introducing a “foreign” substance (David Suzuki). The new gene merely prompts the modified organism to express a desired trait. Companies that wish to release a genetically modified seed or the product of a genetically modified crop are required to test the safety of that product. If the product is made from an organism containing a known allergen, it must be tested for safety. No one has substantiated a single human death, or even illness, as a result of consuming genetically modified foods. Jimmy Kimmel, a popular television host, supports the use of GMOs and once said that “as it’s practiced today, agriculture damages the environment more than any other human activity. Genetically engineered crops will ease that negative impact” (Jimmy Kimmel). Although GMO’s are frowned upon, they are slowly becoming tolerated since people are realizing the benefits they can bring.

    Suzuki, D. (n.d.). Understanding GMO. Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo/

    Jimmy Kimmel Finds The Problem With GMOs: People Don’t Know What They Are « Nerdist. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://www.nerdist.com/2014/10/jimmy-kimmel-finds-the-problem-with-gmos-people-dont-know-what-they-are/

  22.    Georgia Murphy — November 21, 2014 @ 6:03 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley

    Rebutting the previous comment stating gmo’s “offer many more positive opportunities for health” is in my view, false. Gmo’s are not natural, and because of this I do not believe that they improve/bring positive effects to the health and well being of humans.

    One large issue that arrises when discussing Gmos’s is, are they healthy? I do not think they are, and there are reasons to back this argument up. First off is allergies. Allergic reactions play a big role in human health from GMO’S, and this is because genetically modified food tends to add and or mix proteins that were not originally natural to this product (Duvauchelle, 2014), then causing allergic reactions in humans. Another health fact behind GMO’S is antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a worldwide problem now and GMO’s are only making this problem grow. The food products have been injected with antibiotic features (Duvauchelle, 2014) making them resistant to disease. But the ultimate effect this has on humans is that our bodies take in these antibiotics and resistance is built up against them. Lastly of course when consuming foods fused with GMO’S there is the obvious lack of nutritional value. A study shows that genetically modified soybeans in fact produce lower levels of phytoestrogen than regular soybeans, which is supposedly believed to protect from heart disease as well as cancer (Genetically Modified Organgisms). In conclusion I think it is quite clear that GMOS are not beneficial when it comes to humans health and well being.

    Pros & Cons of GMO Foods. (2014, January 13). Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/213053-pros-cons-of-gmo-foods/

    GMO: Harmful Effects. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html

  23.    Georgia Murphy — November 21, 2014 @ 6:38 pm   

    Re: Owen Stickley

    Rebutting the previous comment stating that “GMOs are beneficial for environmental advances” is in fact, untrue. GMOs are far from natural and introduce pesticides as well as other toxins into the environment, create genetic changes, and put biodiversity of ecosystems at risk, leaving me and many others to conclude that GMOs effect on the environment is far form beneficial.
    To me it is clear to see that GMOs have the potential to pose many threats to the environment. Everyone knows that GMOs use pesticides and herbicides which is increasing the toxicity in environments, thus having a major effect on animals such as Bees. Bees are in fact becoming extremely endangered due to the new modern agricultural techniques ( The environmental impact of GMOs), and this is an extreme risk since bees are major pollinators. Scientists have also discovered that small genetic changes in plants could occur, causing ecological shifts. This could eventually lead to GM plants becoming invasive in the plants natural setting (The environmental impact of GMOs). Lastly GMO’s are claimed to be putting biodiversity at risk. This happens because of a few reasons, first off, when GMO crops are planted heritage seeds are not used. Secondly GMOs do not produce weed flowers and this ultimately means, less pollination, lastly toxins are released into the soil, leaving less soil bacteria, ( The environmental impact of GMOs). These three reasons are why biodiversity is at risk when discussing GMOs. Because of all of these things I find it extremely hard to understand what beneficial effects GMOs could possibly pose to our environment.

    The Environmental Impact of GMOs. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/the-environmental-impact-of-gmos/

    Organic vs. GMO. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/organic-vs-gmo-78392.html

  24.    Katelynne Thomson — November 23, 2014 @ 10:44 am   

    RE: Owen Stickley- November 21, 2014 “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”(David Suzuki). 
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

  25.    linda pattison — November 27, 2014 @ 11:04 pm   

    RE:Luke Ambrose
    In rebuttal to Luke Ambrose and his statement “ GMOs have no benefits to support consistent use to the people who consume them in developed and undeveloped countries.” It is proven that Genetically Modified foods have been around for over a decade, and not only have they benefit the people that consume them in first world countries and developing one they help increase food production in third world countries.Without having access to GM technology, the only alternative for Third World countries to increase food production would be to use more fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides–certainly not beneficial to the environment either. Also gmos can be used for biofuels which help with pollution ( TenGmCropsFactsAndFigures; knowledge.allianz.com). These factors have a great deal of benefits to them weather environmentally or just a fact of getting malnourished children food Gmos have helped the world and the consumers.
    References.
    (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1083872/
    GM crops: Top ten facts and figures. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://knowledge.allianz.com/environment/food_water/?500/gm-crops-facts-and-figures
    Mazaya Theme. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.gmwatch.org/videos/biofuels-myths-videos/12174-the-new-food-wars-globalization-gmos-and-biofuels
    Understanding GMO. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo/

  26.    Quinsea McKenna — November 28, 2014 @ 1:51 pm   

    Re: Julia Duits

    The statement “they have a poisonous gene that apply an effect on the crops” is inaccurate according to the Oxford Dictionary definition of GMO’s which is: “A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there” (Oxford). People can misinterpret the meaning of poisonous and begin to believe that everything they eat that contains GMO’s are poisonous. Of course, this is false because according to the information reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), the genetically modified products that are currently on the international market have all passed risk assessments conducted by national authorities. These assessments have not indicated any risk to human health (WHO). Scientists use techniques to engineer GMO’s and do not use any additives like “poison” to enhance their function.

    A common question people have is: are GMO’s safe? and the answer is yes. There are no inherent differences between foods produced from genetically modified plants and those from non-genetically modified crops. All living things contain DNA, and all DNA consists of the same four building blocks, known as nucleotides. By moving a piece of DNA from one organism into another, scientists are not introducing a “foreign” substance (David Suzuki). The new gene merely prompts the modified organism to express a desired trait. Companies that wish to release a genetically modified seed or the product of a genetically modified crop are required to test the safety of that product. If the product is made from an organism containing a known allergen, it must be tested for safety. A team of Italian scientists summarized 1783 studies about the safety and environmental impacts of GMO foods a staggering number.The researchers couldn’t find a single credible example demonstrating that GM foods pose any harm to humans or animals. The scientists concluded that “the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops,” (Forbes). No one has substantiated a single human death, or even illness, as a result of consuming genetically modified foods (World Health Organization Expert Consultation on Biotechnology and Food Safety) which means that they are completely safe! The Canadian Agriculture Department said in 2013 that, “as it’s practiced today, agriculture damages the environment more than any other human activity. Genetically engineered crops will ease that negative impact” (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). Although GMO’s are frowned upon, people need to understand the facts about GMO’s and realize that they are not harmful to human beings..

    “Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Home.” Government of Canada;Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2014.
    http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/home/?id=1395690825741

    Suzuki, D. (n.d.). Understanding GMO. Retrieved November 21, 2014, from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo/

    “WHO | World Health Organization.” WHO | World Health Organization. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2014. http://www.who.int/en/

    Forbes: 2000 Reasons Why GMOs Are Safe To Eat And Environmentally Sustainable. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/10/14/2000-reasons-why-gmos-are-safe-to-eat-and-environmentally-sustainable/

  27.    Mitchell Curry — December 3, 2014 @ 12:01 am   

    Re: Luke Ambrose
    In rebuttal to ”GMOs have no benefits to support consistent use to the people who consume them in developed and undeveloped countries”. GMO’s are extremely beneficial to third world countries because of their ability to grow in large quantities in poor conditions. Also GM plants can actually have more important vitamins specialize to the countries needs. Without these benefits to the GM plants some places on the earth probably wouldn’t be habitable. I believe GMO’s could be the future to all plants because of the efficiency versus the population growth.

    GM corn has been reprogrammed to be extremely beneficial towards everyone that grow and eat it. GM corn is resistant to most weeds, resulting in much less work involved with growing corn. GM corn is also resistant to pests so the third world countries don’t have to spend any labour time trying to kills pests. The GM corn can be planted in infertile soil where many other plants don’t have a chance of surviving. GM potatoes can be infused with immunizations for diarrhea so third world countries don’t have to worry about having to spend money on getting immunizations for their families.
    Benefits of GM Food:. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmpe080e/Spring05/projects/gmo/benefits.htm

  28.    Jasmin Tuhkasaari — December 9, 2014 @ 3:07 pm   

    Re: Quinsea Mckenna

    “I am embarrassed as a Canadian to say that Canada is pushing hard to forward this technology” In rebuttal to Quinsea stating that GMO’s are frowned upon and are not a benefit to us, I sternly disagree and state that their are many benefits to GMO’s.

    Some of the many GMO benefits will be discussed. Pest resistance, Crop losses from insect pests can be staggering, resulting in devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in developing countries. Herbicide tolerance, For some crops, it is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means such as tilling, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides (weed-killer) to destroy weeds, a time-consuming and expensive process, that requires care so that the herbicide doesn’t harm the crop plant or the environment. Disease resistance, There are many viruses, fungi and bacteria that cause plant diseases. Plant biologists are working to create plants with genetically-engineered resistance to these disease. Cold tolerance, Unexpected frost can destroy sensitive seedlings. An antifreeze gene from cold water fish has been introduced into plants such as tobacco and potato. With this antifreeze gene, these plants are able to tolerate cold temperatures that normally would kill unmodified seedlings. Drought tolerance/salinity tolerance, As the world population grows and more land is utilized for housing instead of food production, farmers will need to grow crops in locations previously unsuited for plant cultivation. Nutrition, Malnutrition is common in third world countries where impoverished peoples rely on a single crop such as rice for the main staple of their diet. However, rice does not contain adequate amounts of all necessary nutrients to prevent malnutrition. If rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies could be alleviated. Pharmaceuticals, Medicines and vaccines often are costly to produce and sometimes require special storage conditions not readily available in third world countries. Researchers are working to develop edible vaccines in tomatoes and potatoes. These vaccines will be much easier to ship, store and administer than traditional injectable vaccines. Although there are many risks and cons to GMO’s the pros far outweigh the cons involved with the material, GMO’s should be further studied and used to help end many of the worldwide problems we have today.

    “Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?” Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful? Web. 9 Dec. 2014. .

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