Genetically Modified Foods

UPDATED: Monday, February 1, 2016 13:16
VIEWED: 4676
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Sunday, September 7, 2003 1:14 PM


Rita asked me in another thread how I felt about GMOs. Well since "organisms" refer to more things than just foods, I narrowed it down a bit.

Unfortunately, we only started studying this in any depth during my last year in college. I try to pick up some extra info when I can. So with my limited knowledge of this, I have mixed feelings.

On one hand I view GM crops and foods as just a faster way of getting the desired variety or strain. After all, many of our current day crops (and livestock) are the result of thousands of years of selective breeding. GM is like this but much faster as one wouldnt have to wait season after season to see if the desired result even happened.

I see the value in creating a jucier tomato or corn thats resistant to blight or wheat that produces larger yields per head. After all, the consumer wants their tomatos juicy, their corn blight free and you need lots of wheat to produce all those baked goods and pastas that folks are so fond of. Also would you like to bite into an apple and find a grub in there? Not so much, hence also folks studying for ways for plants to also become insect resistant.

Keep in mind, that if successful these results would happen without the use of chemicals. So the "organic" community should love this. But I notice that some are also scared of just the term Genetically Modified and think it would mean that if you eat it you'll get sick or turn into some mutant. Thats why there is extensive studies done, to try to catch any side effects.

Now, all of the above was stated without taking into consideration that some people are trying to put patents on said genes or crops. I think most of the controversy stems not from the fact that some crops are GM crops, but from the fact that someone actually went out and patented it and now OWNS the crop and any of its progeny.

I do disagree with this. For example, if Monsanto owns a specific strain of insect or blight resistant corn that was a result of GM(which I believe they do), and a farmer buys a bunch of seed from them to plant, Monstanto basically owns that crop and its progeny. Now since corn cross pollinates, said strain can cross with non GM corn in a neighboring field, Monsanto would then own progeny from both fields (keeping in mind that really the only way to prove is to test the neighbors farm in a lab and that would take a while). Also, the first farmer would not be able to re-plant the next year from saved seed. he would have to pay for another bunch. Thats just the tip of the iceberg and basically in my mind patenting of GM foods isnt right because everyone needs food and therefore it should belong to everyone. Not very articulate but you get the picture.

On the other hand, there is studies going on of genetically modifying crops to contain vaccines for viruses and diseases. This is really the only reason so far that I can agree with patenting. Because the pharmaceutical industry is different from the food industry and well...we all know that pharmaceutical companies patent everything they can. I dont think that will ever change.

thats it in a nutshell.

For a bit more info, you can see a research project that me and a group of students did for a course. Its in the form of a website that Ive still kept up:


Monday, September 8, 2003 2:26 AM


Just curious. If one makes GMF's that are insect repellent, wouldn't all the insect go find a crop that was not GM? So you could very possibly have double, triple or quadruple the amount of insects descending on the one crop that is defenseless. Wouldn't that help corner the market for the people who patent GMF's? Also, If all foods are GM and 1/2 or 3/4 of the insect population died of hunger, what would that do to the frog and bird populations when there was only 1/2 or 1/4 the amount of food for them around? Don't get me wrong, I all about making things bigger and better and letting science have free reign without the fetters of superstition and the-fear-of-change. I'm just curious if anyone's thought of that.

Viva Firefly!


Monday, September 8, 2003 4:31 AM


I am not sure it would work that way, it would depend on whether the non-insect repellant food was close enough to attract the pests, the pests would find it, etc.

But even if you are right, it misses the point of growing GM food, or for that matter, any food. We grow food for humans, not insects, birds, or other critters. (Well okay, we do grow feed corn for cattle and sheep, etc.) The crops would not even exist if it were not for the efforts of the farmers who grew it. So without the farmers, the insects would starve anyway.


Monday, September 8, 2003 7:58 AM


just because a crop is GM doesnt mean its insect resistant. That was only one example of what could be done to modify the crop. And resistant is not the same as insect proof, there will still be bugs having a snack, just not as many.

And other non GM crops wouldnt be totally defenseless, there are other ways to curb the incect's appetite for the crop...both organic and non-organic ways. Such as using other insects to help or spraying.

I'm sure people have thought of this concern but there isnt enough farmland in the world so if all crops went to GM-insect resistant, I doubt that even a miniscule percentage (think o.oo5%, and I just gave that off the top of my head) would die. Taking into consideration natural resource conservation efforts, the miniscule amount of insects that might be put off by the new crops would just most likely move to another area where nothing is happening.

Keep in mind that all that is off the top of my head and I havent actually come across any reading specifically dealing with this issue.

Also, yes patenting does corner the market, thats why I disagree with it. There could be a whole discussion on patenting GMOs and unfortunatly when talking about GMFs you cant ignore the patenting issue.


Monday, September 15, 2003 12:22 PM


Hey yeah i finally found Talk Story. Sorry for my late response i am fairly new to this website and i hadn't a clue that "Talk Story" was a part of it. Thank you for posting so promptly GMO(F)'s intrigue me. I too see great potential in this technology but i worry that we are being rather short sited and a little nonchalant about introducing this type of plant life wholesale into the environment. The cross polination is an issue not only with giants like Montasanto owning the progeny of it's modified seed and anything it contaminates but also with the potential resistance pests and other organisms could develop to it in the coming years. What impact will that have on agriculture since nature is so highly adaptable? It is very likely that the wonder plant which was untouched by bowevils one year may be leveled by hardier bowevils the next.
I would love to hear your thoughts. i do understnad that pest resistance is only one mode d'emploi genetic modification but it the one which troubles me the most. Flounder genes in tomatoes just give me thecreepy crawlies but i am not morally opposed to it as some others maybe (having said that i do believe that consumers should be aware that they are eating GMF) the pharmecutical crops again wonderful but grow them in green houses or in hydroponic labs not out in the open. The thought of of beta carotene rice intially elated me as i am a nutritionist i recognize the importance of carotenoids in the diet but as studies have shown over and over again
it is not just the one element but the combination of many present in fruits and vegetales that offer us healthful benefits so i remain unconvinced that GMF's are a boon to the human race. But i am open to convincing please share any knowledge you have gained with us.


Monday, September 15, 2003 12:53 PM


ONe more thing lads there havne't been that many studies done! please keep that in mind.
for both pro and con gmo info go to these sites , , or note hyphenation thoses clever little bastards

This is one GMO which i think has great potential goats with spider genes who can be milked for BIOSTEEL SILK no joke there was a great article about it in National Geographic last year. I think goats are safer canidates for modifying that plants because they are large animals the popultation can be contained and controlled lets say a goat escapes into the 'wild' and breeds with another goat...... well it's pretty darn unlikely so never mind


Friday, January 29, 2016 10:55 PM


the woo woo pirate news

'news' or conspiracy


Monday, February 1, 2016 1:16 PM


GMOs in and of themselves aren't necessarily bad. What Monsanto does with them is.






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