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Chill out about GM food - Neil Degrasse Tyson


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#1    seeder

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:44 PM

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, perhaps the country's most famous scientist, has a message for critics of genetically modified foods: "Chill out."

In a video we first saw at Mother Jones, he answers a question, asked in French, that roughly translates to: "What do you think about genetically modified plants?"

We have been genetically modifying food for "tens of thousands of years," he points out, and there's no reason to fear GMO foods created in a lab any more than seedless fruits created through selective breeding. GMO technology might scare people, he suggests, simply because "people don't fully understand it."

Tyson may not be a GMO expert, but the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the European Commission all agree with him on the safety of GMO foods. So does the research.

http://www.businessi...7#ixzz393rjFfK9



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#2    freetoroam

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:02 PM

I would say the same thing if someone paid me enough.




Actually, no, i would not. We do not have a clue what is doing to us, only time will tell, and I do not mean 1 generation.

Edited by freetoroam, 31 July 2014 - 04:03 PM.


#3    bubblykiss

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:36 PM

So selective breeding of plants and animals is the same as fusing human genes into almonds.

Check.

Edited by bubblykiss, 31 July 2014 - 04:36 PM.

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#4    CuriousRey

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:00 PM

Although i'm not neccesarily familiar with the proccess of GMO food stuffs I can say that it makes sense that we would be looking for alternative methods of producing food more quickly and easy to accomodate our growing population. I would think that traditional methods are farming would be obsolete at some point and as long as the methods are safe then why should we really care, if on the other hand the methods are not safe and are more for cost efficiency than anything (which it's pretty much always about money unfortunately) then we have a bit of a problem.


#5    spartan max2

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:01 PM

Still undecided.

But what some guy who idk in astrophysics says really has no effect on my opinion

Edited by spartan max2, 31 July 2014 - 05:01 PM.

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#6    95-Nasty

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:09 PM

I suppose as the earths population is growing and our need for food is increasing then thats a possibility were looking into, we already eat processed food, unidentified food (like horse, dog and cat) have been in our food (meat for years)! Hay even cod and chips could have been 'Farmed Catfish' from another country! Time will tell, tests need to be done and people will need to eat!


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#7    seeder

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:05 PM

And in other news...

GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Bugs, Leads to Increased Use of Pesticide

Brazilian farmers say their GMO corn is no longer resistant to pests, Reuters reported Monday.

The Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of the Mato Grosso region said farmers first noticed in March that their genetically modified (GMO) corn crops were less resistant to the destructive caterpillars that “Bt corn”—which has been genetically modified to produce a toxin that repels certain pests—is supposed to protect against. In turn, farmers have been forced to apply extra coats of insecticides, racking up additional environmental and financial costs.

http://www.globalres...sticide/5394255

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#8    DieChecker

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 12:40 AM

Mr Tyson makes a very good case, IMHO. There is GMO that we understand and then there is GMO that we don't understand.

I was watching a NOVA special about "Making things Wilder", and this one lady was using genetically modified viruses to make metal nanotubes to be used in industrial functions like batteries. She described how she did the modification by using a bag of dice and rolling a hundred or so at random. She said that she put DNA together randomly, then checked if the resulting virus could retain/stick to metal in solution in water. So, in effect she was creating thousands of new organisms that she had no idea what each would do, and then testing for the one specific ability that she wanted. This seemed Ludicrously Insane to me. She could have created anything with that virus... The end of mankind? Very likely she did all kinds of protections, but she didn't say she did.

But, when GMO is done where a tougher strain of wheat is DNA hacked onto a drought resistant strain of wheat, I think that has a lot less chance of going wrong, and a lot better chance of going right.

Also, like Mr Tyson said, 90% of the food we are all eating right now would count as GMO.

Edited by DieChecker, 04 August 2014 - 12:43 AM.

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#9    lightly

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:32 AM

I think messing around with genetics that took millions of years to develop is  extremely dangerous.   Gene splicing is a long way from cross pollination.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#10    Rafterman

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:01 PM

View Postbubblykiss, on 31 July 2014 - 04:36 PM, said:

So selective breeding of plants and animals is the same as fusing human genes into almonds.

Check.

I'm pretty sure that almonds are not a GMO crop.

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#11    Rafterman

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:04 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 31 July 2014 - 04:02 PM, said:

I would say the same thing if someone paid me enough.




Actually, no, i would not. We do not have a clue what is doing to us, only time will tell, and I do not mean 1 generation.

Actually we do have a clue - several decades worth of study in fact telling us that GMOs are safe and in some cases safer than non-GMO varieties.

"For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
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#12    Rafterman

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:08 PM

View Postseeder, on 31 July 2014 - 06:05 PM, said:

And in other news...

GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Bugs, Leads to Increased Use of Pesticide

Brazilian farmers say their GMO corn is no longer resistant to pests, Reuters reported Monday.

The Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of the Mato Grosso region said farmers first noticed in March that their genetically modified (GMO) corn crops were less resistant to the destructive caterpillars that “Bt corn”—which has been genetically modified to produce a toxin that repels certain pests—is supposed to protect against. In turn, farmers have been forced to apply extra coats of insecticides, racking up additional environmental and financial costs.

http://www.globalres...sticide/5394255

Primarily because the farmers didn't follow the advice of the seed suppliers:

Seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds.

Dow Agrosciences, a division of Dow Chemical Co, has programs in Brazil to help corn farmers develop "an integrated pest management system that includes, among other things, the cultivation of refuge areas," it said in an email.

http://www.reuters.c...N0Q327P20140728


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#13    Rafterman

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:11 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 04 August 2014 - 12:40 AM, said:

Mr Tyson makes a very good case, IMHO. There is GMO that we understand and then there is GMO that we don't understand.

I was watching a NOVA special about "Making things Wilder", and this one lady was using genetically modified viruses to make metal nanotubes to be used in industrial functions like batteries. She described how she did the modification by using a bag of dice and rolling a hundred or so at random. She said that she put DNA together randomly, then checked if the resulting virus could retain/stick to metal in solution in water. So, in effect she was creating thousands of new organisms that she had no idea what each would do, and then testing for the one specific ability that she wanted. This seemed Ludicrously Insane to me. She could have created anything with that virus... The end of mankind? Very likely she did all kinds of protections, but she didn't say she did.

But, when GMO is done where a tougher strain of wheat is DNA hacked onto a drought resistant strain of wheat, I think that has a lot less chance of going wrong, and a lot better chance of going right.

Also, like Mr Tyson said, 90% of the food we are all eating right now would count as GMO.

That's an excellent point.  GMO development in plants is actually much more precise than even something like grafting because you are targeting specific genes - a rifle vs a shotgun approach if you will.

And the other point to keep in mind, NDT is making his comments because the scientific CONSENSUS is that GMOs are safe.  If that consensus changes over the next few years, he will change his opinion on the subject.

Will the anti-GMO crowd ever do that?

"For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
                                                                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World:  Science as a Candle in the Dark

#14    Rafterman

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:25 PM

View Postlightly, on 05 August 2014 - 11:32 AM, said:

I think messing around with genetics that took millions of years to develop is  extremely dangerous.   Gene splicing is a long way from cross pollination.

10513333_684207208333623_6101591554200964004_n.jpg

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                                                                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World:  Science as a Candle in the Dark

#15    StRoostifer

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:26 PM

Lol. I am not about to jump into the whole good or bad for you debate as I truly don't know. What I will say is that if a person has any fears about GMO's, then simply order heirloom seeds online and start growing your own fruits and veggies. Veggies are especially easy to grow both outdoors and indoors in any grow medium. This is the best way to alleviate any GMO concerns. Why rely on someone else when its always better to rely on yourself. If you grow it, you know what's in it. :D





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