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InvisibleJoshua
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Genetic Engineering of Crops and You.
    #1350783 - 03/04/03 08:22 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I am a microbiology student. I know what a plasmid is and I know what tranduction is.

I have to write a paper on biotechnology and food, and want some feedback from you.

Please state your feelings on biotechnology, specifically the introduction of foreign genes into crops such as corn. These genes can code for resistance to herbicides, for toxicity to insect pathogens, and for increased yeild of harvest.

My personal view is one of embracing the forward flow of scientific understanding. I encourage responsible genetic engineering. I like the idea of increased harvests to feed the hungry. I am cautious in saying that I even favour scientific advancement in the face of possible danger to the people.

There have been vaccines that have been mistakes and have actually caused a higher rate of disease in the vaccinated. But...things didn't stop there, a corrected vaccine was produced that saved millions. I think of the whole picture...at least I try. We are here now, and the advancement of technology and of science is now. Sure we take risks when we explore these new areas of understanding, but that to me is the spirit of science.

So..please state your opinion and also state your background of understanding. I, for obvious reasons, may value the opinion of a biologist more than that of a high school dropout. But I also value the opinion of the layperson as the layperson often represents the attitude of the population.

Joshua


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua] * 1
    #1351295 - 03/05/03 03:08 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I am not a biologist, but I probably know a fair bit more about biotechnology than the average layperson  :smirk:

I'm all for it! I don't understand people's fear of science and technology.

If genetic engineering in this way even has the POSSIBILITY of helping humanity (which it does, in ways of increased harvest) then it's definately a risk worth taking.

And I think the risks have been far overblown by those who do not understand.


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OfflineMushyMay
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #1352350 - 03/05/03 12:21 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I can accept that there are risks involved in science and like you I believe that adventure and risk is part of the spirit of science. Some of the nasty things that I have read about GMOs seem to be a serious risk to life on this planet and in my opinion that is not at all acceptable. Sure, feeding the hungry is great, resistant crops, nice. But when people are creating mushrooms that kill poppies and cannabis, that is fucked up. You can never really know what might happen once these things get out in the wild. Klebsiella planticola is a perfect example. So sure, feed the world, save crops, but genetically designed killing machines, leave them alone. I personally try to avoid eating GMOs but hey, that's my choice. In the future there may not be a choice.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #1352440 - 03/05/03 01:12 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Genetic Engineering of crop plants such as corn certainly has a lot of potential to do good things. Greater yields, reduced need for fertilizers and pesticides, and greater nutritional value are all obvious applications with promise.

But there are numerous issues, also. I could list some of the issues, but others have already done a much better job than I could. That's just one place, and there are a pile of others out there.

Given that some of the potential problems are fairly unresolvable, I think we should be cautious about the release of genetically engineered organisms into environments where the problems could occur until we can be fairly sure of preventing those problems from occurring. Otherwise we risk repeating the mistakes of the past with the release of non-native organisms into ecosystems where great damage was done. And that's just considering the potential impacts to ecosystems, not the issues with intellectual property rights or any of the others.

I think that research into this technology should continue and will provide great benefits. We also need to do what we can to prevent or minimize the problems which will occur.


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #1353003 - 03/05/03 05:25 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

We recently touched on this subject in my Botany class.

Personally, I'm not sure. It seems like a great idea with a lot of great benefits. But, at the same time, it is fucking with Nature; and to me, Nature is God.

I believe that Nature is the way it is because that's how it's supposed to be. Changing Nature, through genetic engineering of crops, for example, could have some drastic and unforseen consequences.

When we create mutant plants for nothing but our own benefit, we are changing the natural ecosystem. Ecosystems are a lot more delicate than many people realize. Changing just one little part of one can have drastic consequences for the entire ecosystem.

I'm just not sure if we should be doing what we've been doing, even if it does have some teriffic benefits. Besides, there's too many people in the world anyway. If some die of starvation, then so be it.

-RebelSteve


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OfflineMushyMay
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: RebelSteve33] * 1
    #1353172 - 03/05/03 07:02 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Seeing that human beings are natural and a part of "nature," technically there is nothing that we can do that is unnatural.


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Offline3eyedgod
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #1354060 - 03/06/03 07:34 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I agree with the other opinions stated in that there needs to be a great deal of study before gentically engineered specimens are released into an uncontroled enviroment.


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Without everything wouldn't nothing be everything and without nothing wouldn't everything be nothing.I am the beginning and the end,the source and the void, the light and the darkness,i am but a small drop of the ocean yet i am an ocean unto myself


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: MushyMay]
    #1357602 - 03/08/03 07:43 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I don't share this opinion.  Sure, some things that humans do are natural because, as you said, we are a part of Nature.  But other things are not.  I think that when humans take something natural and then do something to change it or "make it better"--something that wouldn't happen in Nature at all--then that is unnatural.

Forks are unnatural.

Plastic is unnatural.

Plastic forks are very unnatural.  :wink:

But to each his own.  Different people have different opinions on what is natural and what is not, and that is my opinion.

-RebelSteve 


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #1357969 - 03/08/03 10:52 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Please state your feelings on biotechnology, specifically the introduction of foreign genes into crops such as corn. These genes can code for resistance to herbicides, for toxicity to insect pathogens, and for increased yeild of harvest.




This is a difficult question which can easily be argued both ways. On the one hand, great benefits from genetic modification can be found. Rice that grows with less water, corn that is resistant to pathogens, etc. On the other hand, great harm can also result. The real question becomes are the benefits worth the potential risks?

When it comes to genetic modification, we are children playing with dynamite. We might get lucky and learn how to havest this great power without hurting outselves. We might also end up blowing ourselves up through ignorance.



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OfflineMrMojorisinRIP
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Seuss]
    #1360959 - 03/09/03 06:05 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

But when people are creating mushrooms that kill poppies and cannabis




Ah, Agent Green right? Its not really a mushroom but who wants to bicker. That plot is going to blow up in the governments face so badly when it starts wiping out plant life.


And just throwing a question out there: Aren't GM crops contaminating a massive majority of natural crops?


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Offlinenamaste
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #1363172 - 03/10/03 02:42 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Wow, i'm surprised no one else has brought this up yet.  I have an associate degree in Natural Resources Technology.  i didn't make this stuff up check out http://www.thecampaign.org  i suppose i could cut and paste but for now i'll just give you a little summary.

  GMO's need to be labled.  Some things we can look forward to: Frankenfish that wipe out native populations of salmon, forests of trees that do not produce buds=sterile-meaning no birds, bees, butterflys, months or squirrels, sick cows with really large knees in constant pain-rBGH,  what about the StarLink corn unfit for human consumption that ended up at Taco Bell and Kraft? allergic reactions, no safety studies, antibiotic resistance, say goodbye to Monarch butterflys, increased pesticide pollution, terminator seeds-buy new seeds every year, superweeds resistent to pesticides, trees designed to secrete toxic chemicals through their leaves that would kill leaf-eating insects, no more biodiversity, damage to the soil, contamination of organic food, irradiated foods, fruit that doesn't rot and tastes like shit, pharm animals, this is just a few.

Do you really believe Biotech Corp. have any interest in helping the poor? 

check out that website, i hope this helps with your paper :laugh: 


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: namaste]
    #1363924 - 03/10/03 07:30 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Thank you all for your input!

I have written the paper as follows. It is a simple editorial.

To be or not to be?money is the question. To be in favor or dissent is sometimes directly related to the flow of cash into ones pocket. This is an unfortunate factor when trying to decide issues based on truth. How do I as an individual find the truth when it comes to issues such as genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, and hormone therapy? I don?t and that is what the industries that have a financial stake in these matters count on.

I can go to my local library or to the internet and find a variety of conflicting opinions and data on a wide variety of topics. I measure the credibility of these sources based on the financial stake these sources have with the matter being discussed. First off I?d like to throw the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) out of my calculations. The FDA has done next to nothing to stop the manufacturing of cigarettes. Although associated with our countries two top killers, heart disease and cancer, cigarettes are readily available to anyone in the country who is over 18 years old. If the FDA is not concerned with this, then they are not concerned with the health of the people, which of course means that I am not concerned with their opinions or data. The next to be booted off of my list are most large corporations. The whole goal of a corporation is to amass money for the executives of the corporation. I doubt if morals or truth can coexist well with this bottom line. So out goes any opinion or data associated with large corporations. The next to be booted from my list are the scientists. Those thieving bastards who rather put funding ahead of truth are of the lowest moral character. Not all scientists are like this, but since I have no idea of how to tell the good scientists from the bad, I am forced to throw all of their opinions and data out.

I am left with myself and my own good judgment, although some would laugh at even this call. I love science. I love the art of science and the truth in science (true science, not financial science). I also love the ambiguities and uncertainties that come forth from expanding knowledge. ?As our island of knowledge grows, so do the shores of our ignorance,? says a Mr. Wheeler. I look back in history and see many examples of scientific advancements that were marketed to the people as being safe and wholesome that only turned out to be far from safe and wholesome. I then look at our current situation. We have genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, and hormone therapy being marketed to us now as being safe and an answer to our problems. Immediately a red flag is waived inside my subjective mind. We are currently on the forefront of increasingly complex genetic advancements. I feel like the body of knowledge available to support the introduction of these technologies into the marketplace is very inadequate. I also find the aversion that some have to the labeling of these foods to be an obvious warning to the fact that something is not right. When someone restricts the information available regarding my source of food I must wonder what it is that they are hiding.

So after all is said and done. I stand for the right of scientists to explore new science. I also stand behind the right of the consumer to consume wholesome products. I feel like we are the guinea pigs for these scientists. I personally want to have the choice of whether to be part of an experiment or not. I support further experimentation and the quest for more data regarding the effects of genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, and hormone therapy. I also support the labeling of scientifically altered foods. Most of all, as a scientist I vow to bring forth only the most accurate data in my own work.

Joshua


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Great books for inquiring minds!

"Life After Death is Saprophytic!"


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Offlinenamaste
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #1364188 - 03/10/03 10:18 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

That is really good!

I just wish there was a way to test it w/o imposing challenges upon our natural environment. But that just may be one of those things that is not possible. I wish you well.


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Offlinerjnoble
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Joshua]
    #13813068 - 01/19/11 11:06 AM (6 years, 8 months ago)

I am a undergrad in Plant Genetics and I use and or learn about the most recent biotech on a daily basis. There are good and bad aspects to it like every other form or tech in existence but usually the good is drowned out by the yelling of the uneducated.  GMO's is a topic and aspect of biotech that is very good and one can see and understand why it isnt so scary if they had a small bit of knowledge on the topics of genes, biochem, and metabolism.  Almost every GMO is using existing genes that produce products in other organisms we either knowingly or unknowingly consume already so we arent really guinea pigs for new chems being introduced into our bodies.  Yes GMO's have their dark side (monsantos seed suicide gene.....other shady things not coming to mind right now) but doesnt everything?


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Invisiblelemmy
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: rjnoble]
    #13826915 - 01/21/11 05:45 PM (6 years, 8 months ago)

I have a degree in Horticulture.  I worked for a company that manipulated genes in plants such as, but not limited to, sorghum, poplar,corn,and many verities of grasses.  We did this in order to produce higher yields of cellulose for cellulotic ethanol.  I liked this a lot because it had nothing to do with food.

With that said I am all fore producing and manipulating food to increase yields and resistance to disease.


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InvisibleDieCommie

Registered: 12/11/03
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: lemmy]
    #13826934 - 01/21/11 05:49 PM (6 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

With that said I am all fore producing and manipulating food to increase yields and resistance to disease.




Humans have been doing this for thousands of years.  Other animals do it too.  Its not as unnatural as some make it seem.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: lemmy]
    #13827300 - 01/21/11 07:14 PM (6 years, 8 months ago)

Using farmland to produce energy has nothing to do with food?

Maybe, if you're growing algae in tanks in the desert.


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Invisiblelemmy
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: DieCommie]
    #13836098 - 01/23/11 12:11 PM (6 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

DieCommie said:
Quote:

With that said I am all fore producing and manipulating food to increase yields and resistance to disease.




Humans have been doing this for thousands of years.  Other animals do it too.  Its not as unnatural as some make it seem.





When I started typing I wanted to add that and forgot, very good point.    Yes, there is nothing unnatural about us changing plants growth to better ourselves.


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Invisiblelemmy
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #13836104 - 01/23/11 12:12 PM (6 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Baby_Hitler said:
Using farmland to produce energy has nothing to do with food?

Maybe, if you're growing algae in tanks in the desert.






It has a lot more to do with foods then you might think.  Using farmland to grow energy crops takes away land for growing food.  Also it can and does increase the cost of some food.  Perfects example would be corn over the last 10 years.


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Offlineplustax
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Re: Genetic Engineering of Crops and You. [Re: lemmy]
    #13836952 - 01/23/11 03:51 PM (6 years, 8 months ago)

7 years old people


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