Dailydirt: GMO Food -- You Are What You Eat?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are invading the food chain. Some folks say that the trend to grow more and more GMO food is almost a requirement to keep up with the world's demand for food. Others disagree, arguing that there are alternatives to GMOs that could meet demands without potentially endangering our fragile ecosystem. Here are just a few examples of the seemingly unstoppable development of GMOs for food. By the way, StumbleUpon can also recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.


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    A Dan (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:09pm

    Formula

    No, not all would use it, but many would. Those who are not afraid to use formula (of uncertain origin) would not likely have an issue with more-similar-to-human artificial breast milk.

     

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    Brad Hubbard (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:26pm

    A little intellectual honesty, now

    Let's be real here - we've been eating genetically modified foods (animals and plants) for the last 6000 years or so. Domestication, selective breeding and cross-breading of species has been a staple of human cultivation of food sources.

    Except now we have people with advanced degrees, selectively modifying genes, instead of randomly cross-breeding species and hoping for the best.

    Cross-breeding gave us killer bees. Genetic modification gave tomatoes that can be grown naturally, without harsh pesticide chemicals because they naturally repel insects.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:47pm

      Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

      The problem isn't whether GMO are safe to eat, its about the fact that GMO's are a grreat way for a few companies to effectually gain (and they have for years now) an oligopoly on the entire world food chain via 'patents' and 'copyright' on nature. Monsato being a (in)famous example of what that entails.
      This is a little known secret they forget to tell you when they talk about GMOs.
      You can read more about what I'm talking about here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Food_Nation
      and
      http://motherjones.com/environment/2011/1 0/food-industry-monopoly-occupy-wall-street

       

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        Jay (profile), Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 8:27am

        Re: Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

        You should also look at the Monsanto documentary here.

        Patents are used to help them make more money at the behest of various countries. It's amazing...

         

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        cybernia (profile), Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 2:15pm

        Re: Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

        The reason such multinationals like Monsanto control the supply is due to the lengthy and expensive process of getting GMO seeds approved for use. They are the only ones who can afford to do it.

        There are universities and small businesses that have GMO just sitting on their shelves and they can't afford to get them approved.

        It's ironic, really. The anti-GMO folks who support these strict regulations are the ones complaining about how Monsanto controls the market.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2011 @ 5:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

          bullshit, I'm not anti-GMO. I'm saying that gmo have been turned into one more corporate tax, and the worst kind too.

          Leave food out of greedy hands

           

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      Michael Ho (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:56pm

      Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

      I tend to agree with you that GMO foods aren't so different from other human farming techniques like cross-breeding, etc... but the chemical industry wasn't well regulated for a long time and the environment suffered a bit as we spewed all sorts of stuff into the atmosphere without caring/knowing what the long-term effects might be. Perhaps we should be a little more cautious with biological agents -- since once we produce them, they might reproduce on their own without any nice ways to stop them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:09pm

        Re: Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

        Good luck with that, considering the FDA and the other branches of government who are supposed to regulate, employ former employees (or future ones) of the industry they are regulating. So, the real question is: Who regulates the regulators?

         

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          Christopher (profile), Oct 23rd, 2011 @ 12:59am

          Re: Re: Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

          Good point with the "Employing future employees of the industry they are regulating!" Personally, I want a law that says if you are involved in regulation of an industry, after you LEAVE that regulatory position, you are banned from working in that industry for 20 years or having any stock in companies in that industry.

          Get some of the conflicts of interest out of it.

           

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            anothermike, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A little intellectual honesty, now

            In the DoD, it's 5 years; it's from the Joint Ethics Regulations. No one from contract selection or acquisitions can go to work for a company they oversaw while in office. Maybe that needs to be enforced government-wide.

             

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    Killercool (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:09pm

    About the "made sterile"...

    I'm having flashes of Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcom: "Life always... finds a way..."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    The food we eat today is GMO, just GMO the old fashioned way splicing, cross breeding, selective breeding, hybridization, how much different is direct genetic manipulation?

    I think we have much more to worry about with invasive species.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 8:20pm

      Re:

      The food we eat today is GMO, just GMO the old fashioned way splicing, cross breeding, selective breeding, hybridization, how much different is direct genetic manipulation?

      The reason it is relevant to Techdirt is the combination of GMOs and patents. The engineered plants spread and then the big ag companies want people to pay for growing those crops even when they didn't plant them.

      It's this in a nutshell: "We're going to contaminate your crops and make you pay us because we did so."

      Now, if you eliminate patents on GMOs, you reduce some of the financial incentives in creating them and then we can talk about whether it is good science or not.

       

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    nowunoit, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 8:36pm

    GMO'S = CANCER / REAL ORGANIC FOOD = NON-PATENTABLE

    And u wonder why obesity rates and cancer rates are so high - the gmo's are out of control . As for the patent issue check out india's recent lawsuit against gmo manufacturers because gmo's are destroying that country (not 2 mention our's as well)

     

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    pringerX (profile), Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    A note on the issues around GMOs

    GM crops are 100% safe to eat. Up to date, the natural pesticides produced by such plants are all stuff that is harmless to people, so unless they start inserting genes for botulin or whatnot, such plants and animals completely safe for consumption. Another common misconception is that meat engineered to produce extra hormones can somehow affect human development. This is rubbish, as hormones are delicate molecules that do not survive the digestive process (never mind the trace quantities they will be in, and the species differences). In fact, GM crops and livestock are often more nutritious because of their engineering.
    What is of concern is how GMOs interact with our environment, a point Mike brought up earlier. A prime example are genetically modified salmon on open-water fish farms. This is downright irresponsible, as the GM fish can and do escape, and impact the natural salmon populations. The same can be said for pollen from GM plants- they might theoretically interbreed with native species or otherwise become invasive, or otherwise impact the local environment.
    The final point is completely unrelated to biology, and that is the patent system. I do not claim to have any expert knowledge in this area, but it doesn't take a genius to see there are bad things happening that are probably detrimental to our farmers.

     

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    Chris Brand, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    About "made sterile"

    Of course they did this so that any escapees aren't a problem - I'm sure the fact that doing so would also mean that they didn't have to worry about farmers breeding their own rather than buying more from them never occurred to them...

     

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