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Old 07-21-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Genetically Engineered Food

I hope this is the right forum for this topic.

What is your view on genetically engineered, (a.k.a. genetically modified food)? Do you try to avoid it when you shop, or do you consider it a good thing? Should it be labeled for consumers?

To be clear, I'm talking about artificially combining DNA from one species with that of another, not modifications like cross-breeding.
Thoughts?

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Old 07-21-2014, 04:41 PM
 
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I do the very best I can.

I avoid products that I know are GMOs, but who knows if they are or not? I am always learning new about products that should be verboten.

I have been boycotting Nestles'® for 30+ years and there it still is!
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:49 PM
 
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When my husband came down with crippling arthritis and the drugs he was given darn nearly killed him I knew we had to clean up the diet, especially after the specialist said diet had no impact on arthritis. (Sounds like a challenge to me Doc!)
Because of our (w/ ASD) son's GI issues we knew that how much diet impacted other areas.
We started eating organic/GMO free; and we cut out almost all processed food, and foods that cause inflammation such as corn.
He recovered and has been med-free for almost 4years. In the last 3 months I have persuaded him to go gluten-free and we have adopted a more high fat/low carb way of eating especially after seeing the documentary "Cereal Killers".

I'm all for having GMOs labelled although it wouldn't impact me as much, as I try to buy food as close to its natural state and I can easily find what I want in the supermarket/farmer's market under the organic banner. Big Food is happy to splash "new and improved", "fortified with vitamin ?", "Kosher", "Peanut-Free", "heart healthy" or any other label on the packaging if they think will help to move more units. If GMOs are so great and the answer to world hunger, why wouldn't they want to advertise them too on their packaging? They already have to label their products in the EU, so what's the big deal?

I am not a fan of Monsanto. I've seen first hand what Agent Orange has done to a Vietnam vet and his offspring. Why trust them with agriculture? I agree with the Nestle boycott too.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:38 PM
 
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I also try to avoid GMOs, although I don't go absolutely bonkers about it.

And I'm pleased that Vermont was the state to stick out its neck and demand that GMOs be labeled. We are being sued, of course.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Keep in mind that GMOs have an impact on you even if you do not eat processed foods. Papaya, zucchini, and summer squash have all been engineered and sold to consumers. I expect more infiltration into our produce before long.


Oregon just for enough signatures for a ballot initiative to label them. Fingers crossed!

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Old 07-21-2014, 10:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
Keep in mind that GMOs have an impact on you even if you do not eat processed foods. Papaya, zucchini, and summer squash have all been engineered and sold to consumers. I expect more infiltration into our produce before long.

For our family, it's another reason why we buy organic fruit and veg. To me, it also tastes way better.

I believe some pineapple from Costa Rica is also GE; not sure if it is widely distributed. It has a red tinged flesh. And sweet corn is also GE.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:07 PM
 
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When I grew up, my parents had a book entitled, Poisons In Your Food, by William Longgood, published in 1960 by Simon & Schuster.

It was published in the age of DDT. DDT is no longer on the market, but modern science/medicine never abandons one practice/drug w/out having an even more terrible substitute waiting in the wings. Now we have changed the very genetic code of our food without knowing the long term effects of such manipulations on us or on the environment.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:09 AM
 
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I really don't understand the issue with genetically modified food. I am a bit of a science nerd, so I have tried to rationally research this subject. But the articles I find all seem very opinionated - either scare-tactic dire predictions, or all sunny-rosy isn't-science-great type opinions. I would love to learn, from a balanced scientific source, with no hidden agenda (or funding) what the real dangers are, both to the consumer and to the planet. And the realistic benefits. Does anyone have any links to informative web sites that don't sound either like conspiracy theorist panic or Monsanto sponsored?


This is a genuine request for information. I don't feel qualified to have an opinion on this subject. I choose organic when I can, buy very little processed food, cook nearly only from scratch - these decisions are based on listening to the facts, and weighing the alternatives. I am open to learning more about GMOs so I can make a decision. By the way, I think labeling would be reasonable in any case, so people can make their own decisions.

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Old 07-22-2014, 07:16 AM
 
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Some GMOs make their own pesticide and kill predatory insects.

Is that what you want to eat? There are no long term studies to show that this is a good idea.

I do not know that this does to the bees who try to pollinate.

There is some evidence that these GMOs are killing bees. We are three years from starvation if bees disappear.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So it looks like Neil de Grasse Tyson has weighed in on this one.
http://www.motherjones.com/environme...akout-response

(Ugh! Mother Jones! It used to be a progressive publication and is now an Establishment mouthpiece. )

I haven't been able to load the video, but if his only argument is that we've been doing it for ages, he doesn't have a leg to stand on. He is equivocating between natural cross-breeding and the synthetic introduction of foreign DNA. http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eati...ctive-breeding

The notion that critics of genetic engineering are somehow opposed to hybridized heirloom tomatoes is becoming a tiresome strawman. It would REALLY help if the labeling movement would get more specific with its nomenclature . . . and if NdGT, as much as I adore him, would stick to astrophysics.

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Old 08-09-2014, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
I really don't understand the issue with genetically modified food. I am a bit of a science nerd, so I have tried to rationally research this subject. But the articles I find all seem very opinionated - either scare-tactic dire predictions, or all sunny-rosy isn't-science-great type opinions. I would love to learn, from a balanced scientific source, with no hidden agenda (or funding) what the real dangers are, both to the consumer and to the planet. And the realistic benefits. Does anyone have any links to informative web sites that don't sound either like conspiracy theorist panic or Monsanto sponsored?


This is a genuine request for information. I don't feel qualified to have an opinion on this subject. I choose organic when I can, buy very little processed food, cook nearly only from scratch - these decisions are based on listening to the facts, and weighing the alternatives. I am open to learning more about GMOs so I can make a decision. By the way, I think labeling would be reasonable in any case, so people can make their own decisions.
There really does come a time to ditch the Interwebs and hit the library or bookstore. The right books from varying biases can give you more breadth and depth on this topic. I thought that this book gave a pretty thorough and level-headed take on the issue.
Amazon Amazon

If you do want to find something on the anti side and readily available online, look up anything by Vandana Shiva, who is a scientist and anti-GMO activist.

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Old 08-09-2014, 08:03 AM
 
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Thank you, Turquesa! Sounds like just what I was looking for, and I ordered that book today.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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Old 08-11-2014, 09:08 AM
 
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Do you avoid green peas?

Turns out that the corporate plant breeders set the levels of naturally occurring pesticides in garden peas as high as they possibly can, just below the threshold of human toxicity. And, every once in a while, they screw up and produce a poison green pea.

This has been going on for decades, it's done with artificial selection, a method that is so old that Darwin coined the term "natural selection" from the existing term "artificial selection", way back in the mid-1800's

I'm not particularly more concerned with GMO, it gives them more degrees of freedom to perhaps produce a safer green pea with fewer trade offs. But, then, they can still try to optimize the naturally occurring pesticides and screw up.
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:47 AM
 
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Do you avoid green peas?

Turns out that the corporate plant breeders set the levels of naturally occurring pesticides in garden peas as high as they possibly can, just below the threshold of human toxicity. And, every once in a while, they screw up and produce a poison green pea.

This has been going on for decades, it's done with artificial selection, a method that is so old that Darwin coined the term "natural selection" from the existing term "artificial selection", way back in the mid-1800's

I'm not particularly more concerned with GMO, it gives them more degrees of freedom to perhaps produce a safer green pea with fewer trade offs. But, then, they can still try to optimize the naturally occurring pesticides and screw up.
Source please for the "just below the threshold of human toxicity" peas sold for human consumption.

"Practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food"
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:01 PM
 
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Do you avoid green peas?

Turns out that the corporate plant breeders set the levels of naturally occurring pesticides in garden peas as high as they possibly can, just below the threshold of human toxicity. And, every once in a while, they screw up and produce a poison green pea.

This has been going on for decades, it's done with artificial selection, a method that is so old that Darwin coined the term "natural selection" from the existing term "artificial selection", way back in the mid-1800's

I'm not particularly more concerned with GMO, it gives them more degrees of freedom to perhaps produce a safer green pea with fewer trade offs. But, then, they can still try to optimize the naturally occurring pesticides and screw up.
Yes please give a source for this! I'm extremely interested in this!

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Old 08-12-2014, 07:27 AM
 
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Yes please give a source for this! I'm extremely interested in this!
Well, I am having trouble finding the source. I thought I read it in a famous 1983 article by Bruce Ames in Science with a striking "Eat-Die" painting on the cover. But I found the article and there is no mention of peas. There is a discussion of the fact that plant breeders can and do set the level of natural plant pesticides and that these have been less studied than chemical pesticides, with some specific examples from other foods:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/22.../1256.full.pdf

Also see these incidence involving celery and potatoes bred to have higher levels of natural pesticides:

Quote:
One consequence of disproportionate concern about synthetic pesticide residues is that some plant breeders develop plants to be more insect-resistant by making them higher in natural pesticides. A recent case illustrates the potential hazards of this approach to pest control: When a major grower introduced a new variety of highly insect-resistant celery into commerce, people who handled the celery developed rashes when they were subsequently exposed to sunlight. Some detective work found that the pest-resistant celery contained 6,200 parts per billion (ppb) of carcinogenic (and mutagenic) psoralens instead of the 800 ppb present in common celery
http://www.greenbalance.org/cancer/2...-chemicals.htm

Quote:
There was a similar story with a naturally pest-resistant potato variety that ended up being acutely toxic because of its high levels of solanine and chaconine – natural toxins that block nerve transmission and cause cancer in rats.
http://cosmosmagazine.com/features/o...-food-exposed/
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:29 AM
 
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The bit with the naturally occurring pesticides is very interesting, but as evidence that GMOs are likely to be safer I find it doubtful. Seems to me that it is more evidence that human greed is a significant danger regardless of the technology involved. Why in the world should the people manipulating GMOs be any more safety conscious than the people manipulating plant breeding the old-fashioned way?
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:04 PM
 
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The bit with the naturally occurring pesticides is very interesting, but as evidence that GMOs are likely to be safer I find it doubtful. Seems to me that it is more evidence that human greed is a significant danger regardless of the technology involved. Why in the world should the people manipulating GMOs be any more safety conscious than the people manipulating plant breeding the old-fashioned way?
I did not say they were safer. I just pointed out that people ignore the one and focus excessively on the other.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:28 PM
 
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Good to know there are more reasons to eat locally grown, especially from small farms and to avoid processed foods.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:49 PM
 
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Here's a few links regarding the front groups used by Big Ag to get their message out:

http://www.mamavation.com/2014/08/th...-organics.html

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/b...-front-groups#

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/f...oups_79234.pdf

Where you spend your money really is a vote for what you want.

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Old 08-17-2014, 09:21 PM
 
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Do not know if it matters to the subject, but beware of any SCOTUS cases as I know Clarence Thomas is a former lawyer for Monsanto and I suspect the others have connections.

I would hope they could be impartial and keep our best interests in mind.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:20 PM
 
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I have nothing to say against genetically engineered food. The thing is the corporations which to my mind do not want modified food to be promoted. How else we are going to feed our increasing civilization??
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:09 PM
 
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The only studies to show increased yield due to GE crops come from the companies that profit from them. Independent studies show that GE crops have less yield and the amount of pesticide used destroys the soil.

The problem is not lack of food, the problem lies with distribution. N.America wastes a lot of food.

"Practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food"
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