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GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)?

Opening Argument

GMO's are harmful and should not be sold in our country. I am referring to GMOs in our food industry.

Debra AI Prediction

Predicted To Win
Predicted 2nd Place
33%
Margin

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Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • @Intellisio

    Why do you believe that? I'm honestly just interested in where you're getting your information from on this subject. Why are all GMOs harmful, and how do they cause those harms?
  • NopeNope 174 Pts
    Intellisio I believe they should inform people if the food they want came from GMOs. They should make non GMOs food easier to get but not get rid of the GMOs because some may be fine with them and it is very effacents to grow. This way people can have an easier time getting non GMOs for those who don't wan't them but still have some of that choice. They choice would be yourse. GMos can be bigger and many people may still wan't to eat them. I also believe every one should be edacted in the benefits and harm of GMO so peoples decision can be edacted. I like the effcent see of GMOs and I also like choices. Yes I am bad at spelling. : )
  • A meta-analysis found that GMO’s are healthy and zero negative health side effect has been discovered.
    Ironically meta analysis found GMO’s causes a 37% drop in chemical pesticide use. This means one could realistically argue that GMO’s are healthier because they are accompanied with less chemicals.

    whiteflamePogue
  • EdrilEdril 63 Pts
    @Intellisio

    Name a food that is part of your staple and is not genetically modified.

    I ask, because I'm not actually aware of staple foods that haven't been genetically modified by humans.
  • NopeNope 174 Pts
    Edril said:
    @Intellisio

    Name a food that is part of your staple and is not genetically modified.

    I ask, because I'm not actually aware of staple foods that haven't been genetically modified by humans.
    You did not ask. Thier was no question mark because you where not asking. It is more like an order or challenge.
  • EdrilEdril 63 Pts
    @Nope
    "You did not ask. "

    Sorry for the confusion....

    Add " Can you please" to the beginning of that sentence and a question mark at the end.
  • EdrilEdril 63 Pts
    @Nope

    If you're going to nitpick, "their" is the possessive form of they, which is completely different from "there" which is what I think you meant. Also, saying, "...because you were not asking" is a pretentious and false assumption on your part.
    Nope
  • NopeNope 174 Pts
    Edril Said "Also, saying, "...because you were not asking" is a pretentious and false assumption on your part." What I meant to say is because your sentence would not make a proper question.
  • I think a lot of the crowd that is against GMOs fundamentally doesn't understand what a non-GMO food is. Every crop we use, and every domesticated animal we have, is the result of a tremendous amount of experimental cross-breeding. That involves a tremendous amount of genes shifting around, which can and often does cause its own set of problems. In fact, that characterizes a lot of how new foodstuffs are made - there are many instances where foods are exposed to ionizing radiation with the hope that, after genetic repairs, some new and popular food will be born. To my knowledge, the only thing that changes when using GMOs is that you're using genes from a variety of sources that cannot necessarily interbreed with the organism you're interested in changing, and that you're specifically targeting certain genes that you think would be beneficial.

    Considering the extensive testing that companies that produce them are required to go through, there's little doubt that they're safe as well. If anything, considering that many of these genes reduce or obviate the need for pesticides or herbicides, they often make our food safer.
  • I am against Genetically Modified Organisms. Many people may point out that we can grow more crops and end Word Hunger! My opposition is "And give the whole world cancer?" Another point I would like to acknowledge is the fact that often genetically modified organisms are not labeled.The USA is the largest producer of GMO crops and does not mandate labels for GMO food. If they're healthy, what's the harm in labeling them?

    I also strongly believe that humans shouldn't interfere with nature. Not only are we creating a brand new line of food when making GMOs, we are also endangering many people's" lives. Majority of the people believe that genetically modified organisms are the answer for ending world hunger. I feel that it makes absolutely no sense to be ending world hunger by poisoning people. People would die and genetically modified organisms would be helping decrease the human population worldwide.

    New allergens can be produced because of genetically modified food. A major issue in Genetically Modified Foods is the ability to trigger an allergy in humans. Some of the genes used in GM technology might be taken from a food that causes allergies in some people. Inserting that gene into another organism could cause the host organism to express that allergen as a trait. A new allergen can possibly be produced when genes are mixed across different species.

    Genetically modified organisms can also help contribute to the extinction of certain organisms. An organism in the ecosystem could be harmed, which would lead to a lower level of biodiversity. By removing one pest that harms the crop, you could be removing a food source for an entire species of animals. GMO crops could prove toxic to an organism in the environment, leading to reduced numbers or extinction of that organism.

    In a study conducted, when Pusztai fed rats genetically modified (GM) potatoes to produce a supposedly safe insecticide called the GNA lectin, all the animals showed pre-cancerous cell growths, smaller brains, livers and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and damaged to the immune system"with most changes appearing after just 10 days.

    Our future generations deserve to have a healthy lifestyle just like our previous generations have had before us. I, for one, am against genetically modified food. My opinion is that genetically modified food is harmful. Genetically modified food not only increases the risks of getting cancer, it also can damage organs and do harmful things to your body.

    57% of Americans would be less likely to buy food that are labeled GM. 87% people out of a CBS news poll want GMOs labeled. They would prefer to know what they are eating and the nutritional values behind it. The people who claim that GMOs are safe are the same people who are profiting from it.

  • NopeNope 174 Pts
    I am fine with GMO's. It can help end world hunger and is effecant. I believe in the power of technology and I believe if the GMO's have problems that you should not give up and go back to the original food when you can fixes the problem. I do believe that GMO's should be labeled and people well ejdacter in the subject as I am a large supporter in the ability to properly choose. Totally eliminating GMO's will take away that choice and GMO's have their benefit and can defiantly continue to improve. 7.6 billion of us and GMO's are superior in effcantcy.
  • @Intellisio

    GMOs do not cause cancer. There is no validated scientific research that shows that cancer is more prevalent in any population that eats more genetically modified foods, nor is there any reason to believe that GMOs could cause cancer. They can, however, reduce the number of pesticides and herbicides used, which can cause cancer, and they can reduce the incidence of other chemicals in our food that also are linked to cancer. Nor is there any reason to believe that they poison people.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/gmoanswers/2016/06/01/why-gmos-dont-cause-cancer/#373726cd6bc8

    The labeling point is actually more complex than you make it out to be. Those labels balloon the very stigma you're trying to perpetuate against GMOs by calling to everyone's attention precisely which foods in their grocery stores are GMO and making them appear dangerous without the requisite scientific support. If we did label them, chances are we'd end up in a similar set of circumstances to much of Europe, with most of those foods pushed out of our grocery stores, thus reducing our options and increasing the cost of groceries in our stores.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/labels-for-gmo-foods-are-a-bad-idea/

    Regarding the Pusztais study, you might have looked into the response to it that came from basic peer review of the data:

    "A panel of experts, the Royal Society and food-safety scientists in regulatory agencies around the world, all have concluded that the study does not demonstrate that the GM potatoes were unsafe in any way.  Although Pusztai travels around the globe fear-mongering about the dangers of GM crops, it is ironic that even if his study were correct, it would only prove that those specific potatoes were unsafe, and not that all GM crops are unsafe as he seems to be claiming.  For the record, the potatoes in question were a research project; they were never submitted to regulators and they were never commercialized."

    "Experts say no scientific conclusion can be made from the work" this is the result of review by two separate expert panels.
    "No differences were seen between the groups of animals" i.e. the pre-cancerous growths and changes to organs were seen in control rats as well.
    "Flawed study design and improper diets doomed the study to failure" raw potatoes are toxic to rats, and all the diets were protein deficient.
    "Science should be published in peer-reviewed literature and not on TV" despite the claims and the supposed support, it never passed peer review.

    http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-1/1-1-pusztais-flawed-claims/

    Regarding interfering with nature, I'm not clear on why you go to grocery stores at all. Every food you could get is the result of millennia of interfering with nature. The only difference is that these are directed measures to improve specific aspects of our food, rather than cross-breeding under the hope that some of the good traits will stay, despite massive genetic shifts.

    I'm really unclear how GMOs can cause extinction of any organism. You're adding an extra trait into an organism that already exists. If the organism would take over, why not without the GMO trait? Also, in many cases, GMO plants are terminal (i.e. they don't produce any seed). How could those plants ever cause extinction of others, or reduce levels of biodiversity? If the issue is removal of a given pest, then why not be upset at every single pesticide as well? Those get used even in organic crops. As for toxicity to other organisms, that's similarly broadly tested before a new GMO organism is rolled out. Despite having used GMOs for decades (since the 1970's), no such extinctions have ever happened.

    The one thing you are correct about is new allergens. You're quite right that genetic modifications can create those. The problem is that any genetic modification can alter the allergens a plant produces. Cross-breeding does that as well. And GMOs are screened pretty heavily for the production of problematic materials before they're grown broadly.

    Lastly, despite being a microbiologist working in plant pathology, I don't profit from any of this research. My work doesn't involve GMOs for consumption, nor do I intend to pursue such work in the future. People who support GMOs can be and often are just reasonable human beings who have read the research and are convinced of their safety and importance in today's society. 
    Nope
  • @whiteflame

    Genetically modified organisms causing cancer seems to be one of the biggest controversies in this topic. This website states that it does indeed cause cancer and birth defects.                                                 
     http://www.connersclinic.com/cancer-and-gmos/
  • Genetically modified organisms causing cancer seems to be one of the biggest controversies in this topic. This website states that it does indeed cause cancer and birth defects.                                                 
     http://www.connersclinic.com/cancer-and-gmos/
    So, I could go into some depth on why the author of that article is not a reputable source, but I think the words he's saying in that article and the embedded YouTube video speak for themselves.

    The entirety of his argument is that we're putting stuff in our bodies that seems like it may not be healthy, so it must be causing cancer.

    A few problems with this.

    First off, he never directly states in the article (or in the video for that matter) how any specific aspect of GMOs is causing cancer. We're not here to argue about various additives or pesticides, just the genetically modified aspect. At most, he's arguing that there is gut damage and autoimmune disease resulting from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. That's not cancer. That's problematic, but cancer is terminal. None of these are clearly terminal.

    Second, almost all of his arguments seem to be based on conjecture. He argues that the Bt toxin attacks the guts of nibbling insects, which is absolutely true. He then goes on to surmise that, if they attack the gut of such insects, they must do something in humans. He doesn't cite any research showing this to be the case, he doesn't compare insect guts to human guts, he doesn't provide any mechanistic explanation for how this happens. And research has even been done that shows he's wrong.

    "Bt microbial products have a long history of safe use (∼40 years) with only two reports prior to 1995 of possible adverse human effects, neither of which was due to exposure to Cry proteins (3). In a 1991 study that focused on exposure via inhalation of Bt sprays, results showed immune responses and skin sensitization to Bt in 2 of 123 farm workers (4). In a 2006 article, the Organic Consumers Association linked this observation to possible impacts of Bt in GE foods, warning that “Bt crops threaten public health” (5). But the respiratory sensitization observed in the farm workers does not provide validation that oral exposure to Bt would result in allergic responses.

    In recent years a variety of safety studies were conducted specifically on native Bt proteins to show that they do not have characteristics of food allergens or toxins."

    http://ucbiotech.org/answer.php?question=31

    So, the basic assumptions he's making disproven by the empirical data. If you or he want to argue that GMOs cause substantial damage to human beings, then both of you need more than just conjecture. You need empirical data, showing that human beings are clearly harmed by the genetic changes made to these plants. The author even states that "More than 65 percent of U.S. corn crops contain this special gene that produces the insecticide," yet despite that massive number, he can present absolutely no data showing that gut problems, autoimmune diseases, or stomach cancer are more common in the US than, say, in Europe where these are banned.

    Then allow me to do it in his place.

    The incidence of stomach cancers in the US is lower than in almost any European country.

    http://globocan.iarc.fr/old/FactSheets/cancers/stomach-map-m1.png

    The incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) doesn't appear to correlate with the use of GMOs either.

    http://img.medscapestatic.com/slide/migrated/editorial/cmecircle/2002/1985/olden/slide03.gif

    The only allusion the author makes to having something akin to empirical evidence is with this line:

    "Recent studies reveal that GM corn destroys the intestinal lining of mice causing absorption problems and leaky gut syndrome."

    However, he doesn't actually cite any of these studies. He provides no primary or secondary evidence to support his claims. And using mice as a test subject in place of humans is faulty anyway, as there are a lot of differences between human and mouse physiology (just as there are many differences between humans and insects).


  • I wouldn't have an issue with GMOs IF you can voluntarily choose whether or not to eat them.  If they, or their food products, are all labelled to inform, including if the food you get in a restaurant also informs you, then you are empowered to decide and act accordingly.  But they're trying to make it involuntary.  My issues with GMOs are 1) GMO proponents attempt to sneak them through by games with labelling, 2) farmers whose crops get cross contaminated/pollinated with patented crops end up sued over something they really can't control, and 3) Heirloom crops end up extinct or at best frozen in a seed bank somewhere.
    Nope
  • @whiteflame 
    Please do not assume genders. I am a female.
  • @Intellisio

    I never referred to you by a gendered pronoun. All of the references to "him" or "his" were directed at the author of that article (assuming Dr. Conners wrote it). Or are you saying that you wrote it?
  • Grenache said:
    I wouldn't have an issue with GMOs IF you can voluntarily choose whether or not to eat them.  If they, or their food products, are all labelled to inform, including if the food you get in a restaurant also informs you, then you are empowered to decide and act accordingly.  But they're trying to make it involuntary.  My issues with GMOs are 1) GMO proponents attempt to sneak them through by games with labelling, 2) farmers whose crops get cross contaminated/pollinated with patented crops end up sued over something they really can't control, and 3) Heirloom crops end up extinct or at best frozen in a seed bank somewhere.
    These are all reasonable concerns, though I don't think any of the solutions to these problems are obvious.

    Starting with labeling, as I mentioned earlier, the problem with labeling is that it actually reduces the number of available options by effectively removing GMOs from supermarkets. There's a strong stigma against GMOs, and that stigma will result in very strong efforts to either push them out of markets or, at the very least, minimize their presence. That's what happened in Europe, and that's what will happen here. It sounds great on paper, but considering there's no associated health problems with ingesting GMOs, you're effectively forcing the market to respond by changing their seed to non-GMO varieties, increasing the usage of pesticides, and increasing prices due to loss of crop yield.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/labels-for-gmo-foods-are-a-bad-idea/

    I agree that cross-pollination is a problem (though not all GMOs suffer from the problem, especially ones that are effectively sterile or varieties that are limited to a few generations), but the issue is not one-sided. Companies like Monsanto have a lot to lose if farmers use their seed without purchasing it, and while they might be a little overzealous in their attempts to police farmers who have these GMOs in their fields (particularly when that use is found in only a few plants directly adjacent to fields growing GMOs), they do have to take action to defend their IP.

    I'm not very clear on what the problem is with heirloom crops. How will GMOs cause their extinction? That doesn't seem likely unless GMOs become ubiquitous. People will grow them because there's always going to be a market for them.
  • EdrilEdril 63 Pts
    @Intellisio

    If we got rid of GMOs the grocery store would be empty. 
    If we labeled all GMOs, all food would have the label.
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