Just a place to post recent information about genetically modified crops.



original GMO discussion here



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I would also like to point out though, that although I don't see anything wrong with GMO for food production there are other more complicated issues. For instance, there is GMO crops like "round-up resistant" canola. Great for spraying the weeds out of it, but if that specific canola crop invades my field or you need to spray it out when you rotate for the next crop...guess the only way you can now get rid of it? The company that manufactured it now has the patent for the only chemical that will kill it and, of course, that'll cost ya.
The problem of mono-culture and gene poisoning that can promote it have been acknowledged as serious problems and were discussed in the main GMO thread.
Thanks, I'll check it out...been too busy to read much of any threads lately...
Not sure if this point has been made - but aren't almost all crops genetically modified? Are there people arguing that doing it over time through cross-pollination and grafts, etc. is that much different than newer, more expeditious and 'surgical' approaches?

I worked in the seed corn fields in Iowa and Illinois when I was young. Cross pollinated hybrid corn was engineered right in the field in a very laborious but effective fashion for all kinds of traits. How is that any different really?
Not sure if this point has been made - but aren't almost all crops genetically modified? Are there people arguing that doing it over time through cross-pollination and grafts, etc. is that much different than newer, more expeditious and 'surgical' approaches?

I worked in the seed corn fields in Iowa and Illinois when I was young. Cross pollinated hybrid corn was engineered right in the field in a very laborious but effective fashion for all kinds of traits. How is that any different really?


This has been my question all along. Sorting through the noise in order to find accurate information is more difficult than in any other issue I have come across.
There is a difference between plant breeding (hybridization) and genetic modification. Plant breeding uses only the genes inherent to the plant while genetic engineering inserts genes not inherent to the plant. For example Starlight corn had a gene from Bacillus turginesis inserted in the corn genome. B. turginesis has been used by organic farmers for decades as a natural pesticide against larval pests.
Does this mean that if I eat this corn it will kill the larval pests accumulating in my intestines?

Yeah - I'm sure it's not the same thing. And I'm certain that plants can be poisonous. Therefore, it must be possible to create a poisonous plant out of a non-poisonous one. So, it's not as if there is no danger - or the results shouldn't be considered. However, how many plants in the history of the world, ingested as food, have turned out to be carcinogenic - slow poison? I really don't know. But is anyone worried about the residual B. turginesis not in the plant but used on or around the plant?
As I said Bacillus thuringiensis [Bt] (I misspelled it above)
has been used by organic farmers for decades. Information can be found here.
Best belly laugh all day!
I went to Iowa State University for a couple of semesters. This is totally off topic except it might help explain why this subject seems particularly woo woo to me. Iowa State is the M.I.T. of agriculture. There is NO place on earth where there is more known about how to grow food commercially.

Anyway, I was studying engineering and my friend was studying agribusiness. We were walking to finals one morning. He said, "Whatcha got?" I shook my head in woe and said, "Calculus. You?" He looked even more forlorn and said, "Pesticides." I replied, "Bummer, dude."

Now, that is actually pretty funny because, at his level, Pesticides was probably a harder course than Calculus. But, I guess if you have to explain a joke ...
GM Crop Hubbub in India
by Steven Novella

Much like global warming, recycling, and organic farming – genetically modified or GM foods is a scientific controversy where there is significant disagreement within the skeptical movement. People who are generally science and reason-based find it difficult to completely wrap their heads around the complex information and come to a confident conclusion. Or they find it challenging to find objective sources of information that are not filtered through political bias. Or they find it difficult to figure out what the scientific consensus is, because the experts seems to be divided...


Steven Novella has spoken (written) the words for me. His opinion in this article is exactly how I feel, down to the last detail. This is the first article about GM foods I have ever read (and I've read a lot) that mirrors my thoughts exactly. Thank you again Steven Novella. You continue to be my hero. -sacha
For anyone who has netflix, Michael Pollan's documentary "The Botany of Desire" is available as a direct-to-computer video in the documentary section. I read this book a while back and had forgotten some parts. The 4th section on the Potato (subtitled "control") give great context and enters into the GMO debate as one of Monsanto's few losses. It's interesting because this story doesn't paint Monsanto as the Great Satan, but does present it as a precautionary tale, with balance related to many facets of monoculture and agricultural industry.

I hope someone watches it, it would be interesting to discuss.

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