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What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:51 am
by Exhuminator
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food

Just wondering what the general consensus is around these parts.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:01 pm
by marurun
Based on the research I've read, I believe most GMO crops are indeed safe for human consumption, and in some cases, such as golden rice, more beneficial than non-GMO crops. But it's hard to generalize about GMO crops, since the introduction of new genes means you have to test all over again. I know GMO is used as a blanket designation, but scientifically speaking, each GMO variant needs to be tested and evaluated on its own terms.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:05 pm
by Exhuminator
marurun wrote:I know GMO is used as a blanket designation, but scientifically speaking, each GMO variant needs to be tested and evaluated on its own terms.

I actually agree with you. But for the purpose of a broader discussion, I used the description "general consensus" for that reason.

I'll add that with all the new developments with CRISPR, I think GMO is only going to increase in use. And so it's interesting to discuss IMO.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:18 pm
by samsonlonghair
Nearly everything we eat is a Genetically Modified Organism. This has been the case for a long time now; it's not a modern trend. Animal husbandry is as old as the book of Genesis. Selective breeding of crops was a major development in early human civilization. Whether our ancestors knew it or not, they were modifying the genes of the plants and animals they wanted to eat.

The only difference is that we are much better at it now. We have a firmer understanding of genetic science.

Seems like a first-world problem to me. The anti-GMO crowd always reminds me of the anti-vax crowd. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bit of overlap between the two groups.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:22 pm
by MrPopo
There is a branch of the anti-GMO people who got there by getting pissed at the admittedly shitty business practices of Monsanto. I used to work with a guy like that, but myself and another coworker were actually able to get him to split GMO from Monsanto GMO and as a consequence he was willing to admit to himself that GMO in itself is not bad; like anything it can be applied in good or bad ways.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:25 pm
by isiolia
Yeah, I think the basic practice is perfectly fine, an extension of what we already do/did via selective breeding and the like.

Getting to the point where something that can/does naturally propagate itself is subject to IP laws and all is kind of silly, but that's on the company.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:32 pm
by Sarge
I hate absolutes, so I went with probably, leaning heavily towards the absolute.

Given that I work at a very ag-focused college, I at least get some exposure to the types of research that goes on in the industry. But we've been selectively breeding for years, this is just another level in that. I have no problem with GMOs at all. :)

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:57 pm
by marurun
Oh, CRISPR is going to be super exciting. And also lead to some spectacular failures. Now that these kinds of modifications are becoming easier we must absolutely vet our supply chains. Modifications must be tested, and only sold when demonstrated safe. But we must also be sure we're not getting food from places that may start using these technologies without appropriate safeguards. I have always rejected talk of "Frankenfood", but CRISPR opens the door to that maybe actually being a thing, if not carefully monitored.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:59 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Tweaking genes in food ain't gonna kill us. You want to talk health risks, look at use of chemical pesticides, not genetic modification.

Re: What's your opinion of GMO food sources?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:10 pm
by marurun
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Tweaking genes in food ain't gonna kill us. You want to talk health risks, look at use of chemical pesticides, not genetic modification.


Well, those two are related. One of the most prevalent GMs is Round-up Resistant. Used properly farmers can use less pesticide, but not all farmers use it properly. Some use it as an excuse to just dump MORE Round-Up on their fields. At least, that's what some opponents claim. I have no data whatsoever about actual pesticide usage patterns. But I know weeds can develop resistance to Round-Up, so that particular GM has a sort of end-life of a sort.