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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Genetically Modified Organisms GMO a Video Debate

I have been able to "Run to Ground" a number of important topics, which is to say chase an issue far enough down the rabbit hole to draw conclusions, at least to be able to create an action plan.

1) Worldwide Financial System
2) Destruction of US middle class
3) Radiation and the Nuclear Cartel
4) Global Warming / Climate Change
5) Cap and Trade (Carbon Tax)

There remains 1 obvious "big ticket issue" for which I have not been able to put time into a draw a conclusion.     Although I have already cast my vote on the side of caution by producing a mini-farm that can and did grow all the food needed for my family including my 2 large dogs, using all "heirloom" seeds.    Heirloom is sometimes misconstrued by people as "those weird shaped tomatoes", when its basic meaning is a plant that is not a hybrid, that is not genetically modified.

The seeds from and heirloom plant, will produce that heirloom plant again and again.    The seeds from a hybrid are a crap shoot that might not produce a plant at all, or an unexpected plant.

So I have cast my vote through action, on the side of caution.
In the video below, posted on "Popular Science" GMO is debated from the pro and no-go sides.    They state that the pro side "were much better spoken".     I guess I would expect nothing less, since they have 10's of billions of dollars riding on the outcome, these companies hire, develop, promote, train, and massively compensate the few people's who have the ability to understand the technology, and the ability to dance away from the negative issues, and the ability to play on emotions, and the ability to sell.  

On the "anti" side, the parties don't have the massive financial backing, they are not imperatively personally motivated by large financial rewards of winning the argument. 

Of course the prospect of eating corn with scorpion poison genes in it, is inherently unappealing to me, I mean just how much scorpion poison can you have in your food and not be harmful?   And yes, our scientists are subjecting us to exactly that experiment.     Some of the anti arguments include pictures of lab rats full of bulbous tumors after eating GMO.

Wherein lies the truth?

I would like feedback and links from anyone who has run some of these GMO issues to ground.

From Popular Science--------------
"The 'for' people were just so much more on point than the 'against' people," Nye told Popular Science after the show. Nye himself worries that genetically modified crops aren't studied for a long enough time for their environmental effects before they're planted on farms. Crops get about five years of testing before they're sold in the U.S., Monsanto CTO Robert Fraley says. "I'm still not satisfied, as a scientist, as a voter, that five years is enough," Nye says. Still, in terms of the debate itself: "The GMO people were much better spoken." If Nye were in charge of drawing the line, he would draw it at combining ova and sperm in a lab, not at engineering pieces of genetic material into plant embryos. photo of a stage showing a moderator with two tables of two debaters each On Stage at the Debate © Samuel Lahoz Photography The "for" side argued there's strong scientific consensus, including statements from organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the U.S.' National Academy of Sciences, that genetically engineered plants are safe to eat. Society can't afford to toss out this important technical tool. "GM is sometimes uniquely able to deliver a useful trait, like crops that are more resilient to climate change," said Alison Van Eenennaam, a geneticist at the University of California at Davis who accompanied Fraley on the "for" side. "The benefits of GM are too great to vote anything but yes for GM tonight." The "against" side argued there haven't been enough long-term studies of GMOs' food safety. "I've read essentially all of the statements by various bodies," said Charles Benbrook, a professor of sustainable agriculture at Washington State University who argued against GM crops. "Most of the recommendations for better science, more careful risk assessment, and post-market surveillance that have been made for more than 15 years, in these reports, have not been acted upon." In addition, Benbrook's partner on the "against" side, Margaret Mellon, argued that over the past 30 years, genetic engineers haven't made that many useful crops, except pesticide-resistant ones, which now suffer from resistant weeds. (Here at Popular Science, we think GM technology has created many beneficial plants.) "We need to be clear about what genetic engineering can't do," said Mellon, a founding scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists' Food and Environment Program. "We've got other technologies out there. They're far more powerful than genetic engineering." Below is a video Intelligence Squared made of the debate. It's well worth a watch.

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