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Chill out about GM food - Neil Degrasse Tyson

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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.businessinsider.com/neil-degrasse-tyson-believes-in-gmos-2014-7#ixzz393rjFfK9

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Posted (edited)

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

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Posted (edited)

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

Check.

Edited by bubblykiss
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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.

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Posted (edited)

Still undecided.

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

Edited by spartan max2

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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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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.globalresearch.ca/gmo-corn-no-longer-resistant-to-bugs-leads-to-increased-use-of-pesticide/5394255

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Posted (edited)

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
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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.

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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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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.

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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.com/article/2014/07/28/brazil-corn-pests-idUSL2N0Q327P20140728

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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?

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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.

post-106978-0-80809000-1407248718_thumb.

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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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Posted (edited)

Well, to those who say trust the scientist, they know what they are doing may I remind all of DDT, Agent Orange, fleecing, blood letting and atomic power?

The technology is, considered in a biological time frame, way to young to establish whether it is beneficial or not. Right now, if we just go by the old adage of: "after me the deluge", there seems to be nothing wrong with eating, planting and working with GM foods. But will that be consensus in 50 years? (all the above are being considered as "not so good ideas" nowadays anymore)

Edited by questionmark
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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.

Thats the argumentation of the GMO industry but it is missleading. We do not need GMOs to be able to feed a population

that will be bigger than today. Nowadays, 50% of the global food production gets wasted. Of course, this value cannot be

reduced to zero but as long as food gets wasted as it does not match the standards of the food industry, e.g. an apple thats

"too small" or a potatoe that has "the wrong shape", there is no food problem but there is a problem with the behavior of the

consumers who got brainwashed by the food industry`s standards.

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Posted (edited)

Thats the argumentation of the GMO industry but it is missleading. We do not need GMOs to be able to feed a population

that will be bigger than today. Nowadays, 50% of the global food production gets wasted. Of course, this value cannot be

reduced to zero but as long as food gets wasted as it does not match the standards of the food industry, e.g. an apple thats

"too small" or a potatoe that has "the wrong shape", there is no food problem but there is a problem with the behavior of the

consumers who got brainwashed by the food industry`s standards.

lol the evil food industry. Thats not exactly how economics work.

Its the consumers fault. You walk into a store, are you going to buy the big bright orange or the small dull orange. The answer is you buy the big one, and then every customer after you buys the big ones, then that littel dull one just sits there and rots so they have to get rid of it. Or if it is only littel dull ones you go to the store across the street to buy their big bright ones.

No company brainwashed anyone, You really think they want to waste that food? that's money they could be making they would sell it if people would actually buy it.

And as for the amount of food, there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, its just a distribution problem. Its hard to grow food if your in a war zone for example.

Edited by spartan max2
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Actually I should also add that just because its our fault as consumers that we "waste" food that dosent mean we should feel guilty about it. I dont see it as a bad thing

Why should we pick the smaller less attractive looking oranges? If we can buy more attractive food then why not? We have enough food to have that luxury.

This is why in the west instead of people starving we have a "fat" epidemic. People 50 years ago would of laughed at that thought. There is enough food to feed everyone in the world its just that in some locations the country is too unstable or has some crappy goverment.

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I am not convinced about the safety of GM food..at all. As I say time will tell.

Over time the new generations could become immune to any adverse effects it may have, but we do not know if this will cause other complications.

Unfortunately, GM foods is the only way forward for these big companies.

Actually I should also add that just because its our fault as consumers that we "waste" food that dosent mean we should feel guilty about it. I dont see it as a bad thing

Why should we pick the smaller less attractive looking oranges? If we can buy more attractive food then why not? We have enough food to have that luxury.

This is why in the west instead of people starving we have a "fat" epidemic. People 50 years ago would of laughed at that thought. There is enough food to feed everyone in the world its just that in some locations the country is too unstable or has some crappy goverment.

We do not waste nearly as much as the supermarkets do.

As for buying the less attractive looking fruit...the "attractive fruit" tastes nothing like the naturally grown fruit. Some supermarkets sell fruit which is not quite ripe..they never ripen like naturally grown fruit, they just rot instead.

As for the fat, this is down to the cr 6p being put into food, its also down to the laziness of parents who can not be bothered to cook their children a good wholesome meal, its also down to people not having the time or space to grow their own food......hence GM foods is here to stay.

I think its a shame that the selfishness of humans who are over breeding and the greedy food companies who are rubbing their hands at this, is leading us into a GM food world which is well on its way to being irreversible.

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You walk into a store, are you going to buy the big bright orange or the small dull orange. The answer is you buy the big one,

and then every customer after you buys the big ones, then that littel dull one just sits there and rots so they have to get rid of it.

Or if it is only littel dull ones you go to the store across the street to buy their big bright ones.

Nope, maybe I`m a bit different here as I always buy the smaller ones (vegetables/fruits) as it`s my opinion that these ones are

more tasty than the big ones.

No company brainwashed anyone, You really think they want to waste that food? that's money they could be making they would

sell it if people would actually buy it.

Oh yes there is some brainwashing going on because a big part from the harvests gets outsourced right after the harvesting

because "the consumer would not accept this product".

And as for the amount of food, there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, its just a distribution problem. Its hard to grow

food if your in a war zone for example.

That`s true.

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tyson is absolutely right as a son of a farmer and being around farming all my life, he is correct.

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in long term we are all dead. meanwhile why dont we enjoy in profit? what could possibly go wrong?

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This is a new form of agriculture to forward us into a new world with disasters and drought. I hope that it alleviates starvation and is introduced to areas that's needed. I've nothing against GM food and people have been cultivating and domesticating crops and seeds for thousands of years.

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Well, to those who say trust the scientist, they know what they are doing may I remind all of DDT, Agent Orange, fleecing, blood letting and atomic power?

The technology is, considered in a biological time frame, way to young to establish whether it is beneficial or not. Right now, if we just go by the old adage of: "after me the deluge", there seems to be nothing wrong with eating, planting and working with GM foods. But will that be consensus in 50 years? (all the above are being considered as "not so good ideas" nowadays anymore)

So your solution is to live in a cave, because that's the only solution if one takes your logic to its natural conclusion.

"I'm not sure I want that valve replacement doc - what if it's found to be bad for you in 50 years?"

"I don't know about that cell phone - what if they find they're bad for you in 50 years?"

As to your examples:

DDT - still very useful in mosquito eradication. In fact, many claim that the rise of malaria in African nations could have been stopped with targeted DDT use.

Agent Orange - worked exactly as planned. There were certainly issues with application safety, but as a defoliant, it was pretty much perfect.

Fleecing - not sure what that is, but I hope you're not comparing something that was developed pre-scientific method to modern approaches to science.

Blood Letting - same as above, although interesting to note that it's still used in certain applications.

Atomic Power - there are no aspects of nuclear power that weren't known and fully understood going in.

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