Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

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Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby ShawnMiller » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:22 am

GMOs? Not So Fast by Roberta Millstein

Optional Readings

  • The Next Great GMO Debate: Deep inside its labs, Monsanto is learning how to modify crops by spraying them with RNA rather than tinkering with their genes

twilliams
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby twilliams » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:15 pm

Well, this article talks about politics, and politics is my thing. Forgive me for being off-topic if it is, but it was well in the reading material. Having a federal law mandating labels is pointless. There is no hard evidence that GMO's are going to kill you, and as it is not an epidemic issue, there is no reason why we cannot let this be state issue. As a state issue, I would still oppose it on free market grounds, but I'd get over it. Ultimately there is no such thing as a "right to know what you eat." I don't subscribe to a "natural rights" theory, but even if I did, such a right would not exist under that paradigm by definition. The litmus test for what is a natural right is imagine yourself living alone on a island; if you have it there, it's basically a right. As nature does not let you know anything about what you eat outside of your own experience, knowing what you are eating is not a right. The only way you would have such is a right is by law, and unless a court decided that somewhere, it doesn't exist. That actually might be the angle in which I am wrong; if anyone is familiar with a court case that declared you have a right to know what you eat, I'll admit I am wrong. I am, however, unfamiliar with such a case.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby twilliams » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:37 pm

To be clear about my previous post, I am not pro-GMO. My primary reason for this is everything the author wrote about problem 6. Environmental effects of GMO's *IS* an issue. The are too many relevant factors when considering a GMO that you cannot take all of them into account; as such, even if you have a great intention with a particular GMO product, there is a really good chance something is going to backfire. I'm all for letting natural selection do it's thing.

There is also two important thing to note about whether or not GMO's are "safe." First is that it is true that there is not a whole lot of data backing up the safety of GMO's...by that exact same reasoning, there is not a whole lot of data that GMO's are dangerous either. You can play the "safe than sorry" angle, but if you are going strictly by the facts, taking a strong stance on either side is premature. And also as she said "A GMO is not a GMO is not a GMO. Each one needs to be tested; the safety of one does not show the safety of another, given that each genetic combination is different." This cuts both ways. Even if one GMO is *proven* to be harmful, labeling all GMOs as dangerous because of one is not amenable to truth. Therefore, saying "GMO's are safe!" or "GMO's are dangerous!" as a blanket statement for all GMO's is also not very scientific.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby euriekim » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:41 pm

I am not for nor against genetically modified organisms. I don't believe that GMO's are purely harmful or purely beneficial. There are risks that come with the rewards. I don't think GMO's should be stopped, nor do I think that they should be praised. However, I do think that foods should be labelled if they have been genetically modified. Some people are not going to care if their food is genetically modified and can easily just ignore the labels, but there are going to be some people who do care about what exactly goes into their bodies. Thus I don't think we should make a law that completely bans labelling GMO products state- or country-wide.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby euriekim » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:55 pm

I do believe, however, that we should stop trying to control pests and weeds with harsh-pesticides. The portion of the article mentioning the increasingly-resistant weeds reminded me of a biological sciences class. A past professor talked about how there used to be barn owls around Davis that would naturally prey on mice and/or rats. However, some local residents complained about the waste that the barn owls would leave behind. Therefore the city of Davis got rid of barn owls and started treating the mice/rats with pesticides and it worked at first, but as years passed by more mice/rats became less susceptible to the pesticides and eventually the majority of the mice/rats were resistant. The idea of using more and more powerful pesticides and pests becoming more and more resistant to them is frightening.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby fdtran » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:44 am

I have a rather neutral position on GMO's. GMO's have done great things such as reducing carbon emissions with less pesticide usage, increasing food supply, and making more beneficial varieties of produce. Although there is no proof that GMO's are definitively harmful in any manner, the author makes an interesting point, "When people criticize a science, they are not necessarily criticizing theory, data, or inferences drawn from data—they might instead be criticizing values that are embedded in the scientific theory or practice itself." I think those who oppose GMO's are hesitant because GMO's have not been around long enough to see any long term effects. In the documentary, Harvest of Fear, an anti-GMO activist said that we can't see the harmful effects because it is unregulated; if someone were to develop a foodborne illness, they would never know how it developed because we are not informed of what we are eating.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby tschristoffel » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:04 pm

I haven't been very attentive to the debate, but I don't really see how the first two listed problems are relevant. Opponents of GMO's seem to be labelled "anti-scientific" because many talking points revolve more around distrust of biotech companies, as opposed to scientific data pointing to the harmfulness of GMO's. However, I do think Millstein has a point when it comes to the need for more regulation regarding the testing of GMO's. The issue with pests and plants developing resistance to pesticides and herbicides is also somewhat alarming, and reminds me of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. I think this could be controlled by diluting resistant species, as pointed out by the article, with "refuges" filled with non-GMO plants. This, however, might require more regulation, which is often dreaded by the public, to ensure that farmers follow instructions.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby lksalinero » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:15 pm

As a biotechnology major, I was familiar with most of the arguments evaluated by Professor Millstein, but her final points about context really stood out to me. She writes:

“It might be the case that in some more perfect world, with different biotech companies using different practices, different GMOs, and different farmers, the problems I have talked about here would not have occurred. Perhaps, then, there is nothing wrong with GMO technology itself, only GMO practices. But so what? We do not live in that more perfect world.”


I think the distinction between GMO technology and GMO practices (along the same lines as the old “guns don’t kill people, people do,” argument) is important. As Millstein points out, even if GMO technology proves to be medically safe, there are a host of other environmental and social concerns associated with GMO practices that need to be resolved before GMOs can be accepted as harmless.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby ktoporovskaya » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:13 pm

I would have to take a middle ground with the author regarding genetically modified foods. My concern in the amount of studying done and the FDA little involvement. The study about the pigs and their immune system elevation was unsettling. But I also understand where genetically modifying companies are coming from. There is a huge stigma when it comes to modified foods. It seems “unnatural” and even though there might not be anything wrong people will choose not to buy it. I could not agree more with the author about continued long term research to shed more light on the outcomes.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby herrerajen » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:39 pm

As someone that lives in the east bay, I have definitely heard GMO's referred to as "frankenfood" (particularly when walking down Berkeley). Blatantly stated, the arguments presented usually revolve around the fact that GMOs are "unnatural." As a result, those that would like to raise concerns about GMO's (no matter how profound) are labeled as being against science.

I agree that it is a mistake to lump all anti-science believers in a monolithic category. For example, the media has framed evolution deniers as part of religious organizations, GMO critics as vegans/"healthy" eating enthusiasts, and climate change deniers as traditionally religiously oriented groups. Evidently, there is a miscellany of political views within this group. I guess my question would be, given their diversity, who is putting these people into one group?

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby uwogisele » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:09 am

I think I would be in the group that want mandatory labeling on food so that people know what they are eating. But the question is, how many people are financially capable of avoiding GMO food? Because the article states that "According to the FDA, in 2012, approximately 88 percent of corn, 93 percent of soybeans, and 94 percent of cotton produced in the United States was genetically modified. This suggests that unless you’ve made a special effort to avoid eating GMOs, you have almost certainly eaten them".

So what I know that there is a problem, what if there is no way I can avoid it? If most corn, soybeans, and cotton is GM, not everyone will be able to avoid it. And another reason why I think it's important to label the food is, when people don't see any label they assume it's probably safe to eat.
But I understand why companies don't want to write GMO on their food, because it would make their sales go down. Because the reason why they are genetically modifying organisms is for faster produce of food.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby anjames » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:18 am

uwogisele wrote:I think I would be in the group that want mandatory labeling on food so that people know what they are eating. But the question is, how many people are financially capable of avoiding GMO food? Because the article states that "According to the FDA, in 2012, approximately 88 percent of corn, 93 percent of soybeans, and 94 percent of cotton produced in the United States was genetically modified. This suggests that unless you’ve made a special effort to avoid eating GMOs, you have almost certainly eaten them".

So what I know that there is a problem, what if there is no way I can avoid it? If most corn, soybeans, and cotton is GM, not everyone will be able to avoid it. And another reason why I think it's important to label the food is, when people don't see any label they assume it's probably safe to eat.
But I understand why companies don't want to write GMO on their food, because it would make their sales go down. Because the reason why they are genetically modifying organisms is for faster produce of food.


I have similar concerns regarding avoiding GMOs if they are labeled. I find the argument for the environmental concerns most compelling. Even if GMOs are safe for consumption, I might not want to support GMOs when I can because of the environment. I have doubts that sales would go down sufficiently to prompt change. To a certain extent I don't care about labeling unless it would do more than mildly irritate companies behind GMOs.
I'm also concerned about food waste with no change in practices. Millstein mentioned that "133 billion pounds of the available food supply in 2010 went uneaten". John Oliver had a segment about food waste recently as well. I don't doubt that GMOs can help feed the world, but I would support programs helping with some of that wasted food as well and maybe ones that help farmers use GMO seeds safely and correctly. One technology should not be emphasized so much.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby Nancy Galeno » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:55 am

When it comes to GMOs I have a neutral position for the fact that I believe that it is neither purely good or evil. As the article says, food that are GMO should be labeled as such so that the consumer could be the one who makes the decision. Although many people believe that GMOs are harmless it is also important to not overgeneralize GMOs. Each GMO is different than the next since they all have different sequences that will cause different effects. This article opened my eyes to another aspect of GMOs that has to do with the environmental effect rather than health impacts. Although I am not not anti GMO i agree that foods that are GMOs should be labeled as such.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby eridolfi » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:27 am

I am not pro or anti GMO in the sense brought up in this article. It's technology and technology can be used for good and bad things. But unfortunately the reason why this argument became so polarized is that the loudest voices we seem to hear are the most polarized ones. Many of the anti-GMO people I know back up their reasoning with anecdotal evidence and always break out a "rights" issue, which is nearly impossible to argue with. I think if everyone was better educated on biology, we wouldn't have such a polarized argument and everyone would chat about this like civilized human beings.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby pkshah » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:28 am

I think there is a large overreaction from both the scientific community as well as those advocating for GMO labeling. Calling the labeling a "War on Science" is absurd. It has more to do with the introduction of choice as opposed to anything with regards to GMO's. The only thing that I am concerned about are the economical ramifications of mandatory labeling. If we make people that use GMO's label their product then they might be put at an automatic disadvantage in competition with things that get labeled "USDA Certified Organic" or "No GMO's". This also helps propagate the mentality of a naturalistic fallacy. Not everything that comes directly from nature is good for you. As a result, it will discourage people to use GMO's and scientific methods that can actually be beneficial. Therefore, I thin that if we do label the product, we should first address the mindset of the people. Therefore, I agree with the FDA'a decision to make voluntary labeling a possibility; however, I dont think it makes sense to have mandatory labeling unless people are smart enough to figure out what is good or bad for them based on opinions derived from their own research, irrespective of propaganda. Of course, I dont think humanity will ever get that independent so its just a fools hope. However, I think the dramatization of all of this is just ridiculous. Furthermore, calling the labeling issue an attempt to hide things from the public is absurd too. If it was truly bad for you, the FDA would not pass the sale of these products. Furthermore, there are way more things than GMO's that the government is keeping from the public which I would be more upset about. I would save using names like the DARK act for something that actually deserves it. There are really good economic and health reasons for having the labeling not being mandatory (in my opinion).

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby dianalee » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:49 am

I would like see labels on all GMO product. I probably won't be able to avoid it since most produce are GM products. For example, corn syrup is in most of american food products, according to the article. I think one of the reason america have high diabetes rate, food allergies, and other food related diseases, compare to other developed countries is most of our food are GMO and process. There isn't scientific data would prove that GMO products are safe to consume with no affect on our health.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby KelseyBS » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:04 am

Reading through the beginning of this article I grew a bit bored and frustrated with information that I have already learned. I realize that it was for those who are completely uninformed, but I am who I am. Later I found interest in the fact that GMOs are not tested for safety as much as I had originally thought. This doesn't make me less comfortable with consuming GMOs (because I tend to be reckless with my body), but it does change my view on the labeling. I'm still on the fence because so many things in the store are GMOs. I think It would be faster and more effective to label the things that are not GMOs.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby nyonan » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:21 am

I kind of agree with the whole middle ground being a good spot to stand. I know a decent bit about GMOs and how they aren't really tested all that well, at the same time they are mainly splicing in pesticides as genetic traits that would be quite a bit safer to eat than spraying poison on the plants.I feel like a lot of people jump to one side or another due to their so called "morals" or what have you but it is actually due to a human nature that fears change. I think they should strictly test GMOs, with outside agencies running tests as well, to either dispel rumors of danger or confirm that they are in some way unsafe. Their issues with labeling them is purely an issue with human psychology and has no real good reason to say "we don't want to label them". So people will think a certain way about GMOs...they already do. And if the food with GMOs is cheaper, I guarantee people will still buy and eat it. So attaching a label won't really make a difference other than make people complain about something else.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby msnelmida » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:51 am

Looking at the stated problem 3. I do see the point being made by the anti-labelers for GMO that it can have a very negative connotation that their products is "bad" or "unhealthy" which can be detrimental to such company's future. Also then again as it was pointed out labeling is not against science or GMO science it is just about the rights people to know what they are consuming. If they want people know the benefits of their GMO and bring it to a better light they just have to help people educate the public about their products. Most products nowadays are GMO so labeling them may lead to a temporary reduce in sales but most likely lead the public to learn more about it and distinguish the difference between products. Also of course there are other issues with GMO like the Monsanto issue but the more people know about GMO it will be hard to deceive the consumers.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby SamGarcia25 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:44 pm

"They point out that GMOs are in so many foods that it is almost impossible to avoid them. They want mandatory labels so that people can more easily decide for themselves if they want to eat food that contains GMOs." Even if mandatory labeling occurs, the choice to not consume GMOs may not change. The author emphasizes this after revealing numbers dictating how prevalent GMOs are in everyday life. I know awareness is key, but will it be enough for people to act in ways that will influence significant changes to future policies such as FDA oversight of GMO testing? Analogous to the gene editing in embryos that the Chinese scientists conducted, will it be a big deal in the future if it already is present in society now? Hopefully more long-term studies of GMOs will assist in deciding this.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby sarahsilverman » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:18 pm

My first thought about this piece was actually that the use of many negatives in the same sentence often made the arguments difficult to understand. For example, the heading "The anti-science charge falsely assumes that science is value free" contains three negatives! other than this small complaint, I agreed with the author that "problem 6" is the most troubling issue with the ant-science argument. The data has convinced me that there are likely more immediate environmental concerns with GMOs than immediate concerns of human health. However, if the majority of the anti-GMO camp believes that GMOs are harmful to human health, and I refrain from buying foods containing GMOs for environmental reasons, am I contributing to the misinformation? Am I perpetuating pseudo-science?

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Postby lemacias » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:23 pm

GMO's has been the main topic to talk about in crops around third world countries. In Mexico, although the use of GMO's has been restricted due to health safety concerns, there is still the campaing that these modified products are safe for human consumption. it is interesting how the differences in information and even scientific based articles differ between U.S and Mex. So far, more than 130 products in Mex. have been approved for human consumption and are known to be safe for the environment as well. But what is interesting here is that when it comes to research or to prove if these products are safe or not, they are allowed to be on the market for an extended period of time (permitting the companies to increase their capital by selling the product even when it has not been 100% evaluated or marked as "safe"). Although GMO's are used in a variety of products since who knows when, it is interesting to see how depending on the economic system or country you are, GMO's can affect your health or not.

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Postby Bowen Tan » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:37 pm

GMOs are in controversy for a few years. The fear of GMOs from the public comes from the unknown. The unknown derives from both the uncertain variation of genes and the limited research results. However, rather than doubting scientific researches, considering the ethical problems and right-to-know is more valuable. Since GMOs are wildly distributed in the market, the tendency of eating GMOs as foods can not be rejected. But the management of GMOs safety needs setting up in the world food system. Finally, I think GMOs is only one way to solve the food security problem, there would be other better ways remained to be thought of.

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Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby Selestine » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:38 pm

I would like to say that I do agree with Roberta Millstein opinion of labeling foods containing GMOs. I think that there are people who are technophobia and they are not ready to consume any foods that result from genetic modification of organisms. I think part of the reason that they might have is the fear of them consuming foods that might endup causing them unexpected diseases. Personally I do support GMOs, but they should be highly tested for short term and long term effects before people start consuming foods containing them. And the reason why I do support GMOs is that it is an efficient process making food that contain GMOs. And it helps preserve the environment. As an example genetically modified cows produce on average per day about 8 gallons of milk while a normal cow produces about 3-4 gallons of milk per day. Also genetically modified cows produce less methane that is a greenhouse gas and twenty three times toxic compared to carbon dioxide on the climate.

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Postby eugenekim » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:40 pm

I agree with the author that GMOs should be labeled. She makes a great argument when she argues for the uncertainty of GMOS. For example, she mentions the difference in modififying crops to include Vitamin A over another that has pesticide resistant genes. Therefore, a GMO is not that same of a GMO and that although they may appear to be safe, a customer could be injesting something potentially harmful to the body.

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Postby kgbaidoo » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:42 pm

To me genetically modified food is on of the reasons why America top most countries in agricultural and livestock productivity. GMOS allow s America to produce more food which able to feed the entire nation and also for exportation to other countries. Even though GMOS are very beneficial to the nation, I personally believe every food has to labelled according to its contents because not everybody their foods genetically modified.I personally do not care about what the genetic make-up of the food is, if it is healthy enough for me then , I am good to go.It will just be fair to everybody for food industries to label their products in order to avoid any necessary confusion.I love genetically modified food products because they are cheap and saves costs.

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Postby jjquintanilla » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:44 pm

I find that this is an interesting topic. Despite the position of many anti-GMOs, I define myself as a supporter of GMOs. I feel that there is enough scientific data to show and demonstrate to the public that such method of crop production is not detrimental to humans. Further more, outside the domain of agriculture, the article mentioned that GMOs have been a part of the medical field and so I feel that they further enhance the life of humans. Also, the question of the "values" as mentioned in the article with regards the practice of science is an important thing to consider. However, despite this article said that it would be considered unscientific to label foods as GMOs, I find it to be informative to people because they deserve to know what they are consuming.

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Postby Michelle Tarango » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:47 pm

I understand that the author takes a middle ground position because she feels that the arguments "steer" toward, but I feel as though the article would have been a lot stronger had Millstein taken a stance either for or against GMO labeling. I personally support GMOs and have seen how beneficial they have been to farming strategies in recent years, allowing agriculturalists to grow more and feed more Americans. I also don't agree that the 6th problem is the "most serious" of all discussed in the article. I believe that they all provide different things to think about, but that the environmental concern does not necessarily outrank the seriousness of things such as human safety or lack of knowledge about GMOs.

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Postby JustinN » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:51 pm

I think that the middle ground approach is the best way to approach the GMO debate considering the amount of uncertainty in the scientific community over the long term effects of GMO's on human health. One part I didn't like about the article was how Millstein decided to compare regulation of GMO's to the FDA's regulation of drugs. Having worked in the food industry, people generally agree the the drug industry is the highest level of regulation of publicly consumed products. It's an unfair comparison and comparing GMO regulation to cosmetics would probably be more appropriate. Otherwise the article pointed out the major concerns accurately, although dismissing the severity of unreliable research.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby tschristoffel » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:57 pm

Millstein makes a pretty convincing argument for mandatory labelling; however, I think there needs to be more stipulations regarding such labels. Millstein herself notes that each and every genetic combination will need to be tested independently, as the status of one will not imply anything about another. Keeping this in mind, will it be necessary to include such labels once a certain genetic modification has been tested and found to be harmless? I think that mandatory labels are only necessary for those that require more testing, whereas those that have been tested sufficiently and permitted for consumers should not be subject to labels.

My biggest concern is with the environmental impacts of GMO's and whether their benefits are sustainable. Will it be efficient to continuously develop stronger pesticides and pesticide-resistant GMO's in response to the increased tolerance of pests? If such a point occurs where our technologies for pest-resistance fail us, the effects could be very serious, especially if the human population has become dependent on such GMO's to sustain its size. The benefits that we have reaped from the temporary triumph of the GMO's will come to an end in such an event.

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby lksalinero » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:25 pm

As others have mentioned, some trace of GMO plants can be found in almost all foods, and I think it’s unlikely that many people will significantly change their buying habits because of GMO labels. That said, citizens surely have the right to demand GMO labels, and if a majority of citizens vote in favor of GMO-labeling measures, companies are obligated to comply. As a result, a federal-level ban on GMO labeling - like the “DARK Act” discussed in the article - would be overstepping. Finally, GMO labeling might improve awareness of GMO usage, but the issue of GMO labeling is a very small piece of the much larger GMO quandary. Much more difficult decisions regarding GMO regulation will need to be addressed.

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Postby KelseyBS » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:13 pm

The large section on environmental impacts made me feel as though our environment has been destroyed nearly to completion. The more I learn about the damage we have caused to our environment, the more concern I grow. I can't think of any way that we can reverse the damage. While I realize I do not have the education to discover the worlds ultimate fix, I still worry that it cannot be done.

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Postby eugenekim » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:17 pm

While I do agree that there needs to be some kind of labeling done for GMOs. Im kind of questioning the feasibility of running such tests. First off, what would these tests be potentially testing for. As a I remember, it's difficult enough to figure out the dangers of GMOs in general and there's a large debate going on whether or no if they are actually dangerous. Secondly, how strict should these testings be, if we are already having trouble finding the dangers of GMO's what would be the correct amount of testing that should be done on these GMOs?

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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby Nancy Galeno » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:33 pm

Something that I found interesting relating to this topic that we discussed in class is one of the outcomes of having to label GMOs. As mentioned in class, there is a possibility that having to label foods as GMOs might not resolve a problem but rather be an opportunity for marketing to steer what foods sell more. GMO as a label might simply become a trend in the same way that “gluten free” has. This could be a problem because people will most likely go towards the “non GMO” food because they think of GMO in a negative way when in reality not all GMOs are bad.

ktoporovskaya
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby ktoporovskaya » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:16 am

I would have to agree with the posts above. Labeling foods gives a negative stigma to the product. We label things like cigarettes and toxins that might be found in things we consume, GMO is likely to fall into that category in consumer's eyes. This would be a terrible outcome because we depend on GMO's to produce large quantities of food to sustain us.

anjames
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby anjames » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:09 am

Considering Monsanto is still exploring other or coordinating solutions, like RNA spraying (BioDirect), I think the concern will be more about the technologies used in our food. Should the label say how your food was made or should it be on the website? Would a database be more useful like this website is trying to do with pesticides: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/index.jsp ? I don't care if there's a label personally. I unintentionally picked up a bag of chips before class yesterday that were certified gluten-free and part of the Non-GMO Project. I just wanted chips, something I usually choose based on flavor options anyway.

Also, If so many foods contain GM crops, wouldn't the labeling cause an unhelpful shock? By "unhelpful" I mean wouldn't it be difficult to avoid GMOs anyway? Are there enough alternatives for consumers to have a choice?

pkshah
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby pkshah » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:26 am

In Problem 5 I thought it was absurd that the companies that are responsible for producing GMO's are responsible for testing without FDA oversight. This presents a clear conflict of interest that, if not checked, will result in no constructive change. The people who make GMO's are not going to come out and say that there product can have health risks. Instead, they will engineer an experiment that derives the results that they would like. The FDA should have a huge say in GMO production and I cannot believe that it does not.

I also did not really know why it was a bad thing that high levels of gene flow in industrially produced maze in Oaxaca was a bad thing. I get that various varieties of corn can be made as a result; however, what is bad about that? Is it just the propagation of changing strands of DNA, and as a result, the proteins that are created could potentially be dangerous to humanity over the course of time? I guess I am asking if it is bad because we know less and less about the construction and long term effects of what we are eating?

fdtran
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby fdtran » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:40 am

The discussion in class was enlightening particularly about the debate about labeling GMOs. Labeling GMOs can negatively impact its reputation as being safe; labeling products as "sprayed with RNA", "product of mutagenesis", or "radiaion-bred" would not be attractive to consumers. I do think that this could be solved if consumers were more enlightened about the concept of genetic engineering.

SamGarcia25
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby SamGarcia25 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:28 am

At most, I typically take a glance at the labels of food I buy; looking for price, and occasionally the nutrition facts out of boredom or curiosity. I don't specifically look for foods that are gluten-free or avoid ones that contain GMOs. Perhaps it is blind trust of the FDA that fuels this behavior, but after reading the article it alarmed me how lax government regulation can be about handling and labeling food. Since each GMO is different, maybe mandatory labeling can be enforced as policy for those that have been found to have potentially negative consequences after an archive of peer-reviewed long-term studies is established or some chart listing all of the different GMOs in food is made public. Looking ahead, after stable knowledge of health consequences pertaining to GMOs is solidified, perhaps policy could integrate the topic of GMOs as a standard to cover in high school biology and nutrition classes. They are already embedded in daily life, so learning about them early in school would hopefully lead to a better informed society.

Bowen Tan
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby Bowen Tan » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:40 am

I think the environmental concerns are valuable to discuss. Because we usually sacrifice environmental benefits. GMOs can be regarded as an activity that human beings are motivated to transform the environment. It is likely to ignore the ecology. Ecology may help human beings find out our interactions with and how to treat the other livings. One of the hazards of GMOs is to break up the food chain. We are not sure what will occur after breaking up the food chain and even causes a species going extinct, though that species may be harmful absolutely for human beings.

herrerajen
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby herrerajen » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:50 am

Were we supposed to post twice? I'll post again just in case.
I think it's also worth pointing out the way fast food restaurants have honed in on the anti-GMO zeightist. Chipotle is particularly known for having foods that does not have GMO's, so they proclaim. Amy's Drive Thru is also an upcoming fast food chain that has been credited for not using GMOs in their foods. There's also plenty of websites that give lists of non-GMO restaurants: http://nongmoorganicrestaurants.com/

Thus, it's very peculiar to see restaurants taking action when the scientific research has not definitely determined the health consequences of GMOS.

lemacias
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby lemacias » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:52 am

My first reaction while reading this article was shocking. The fact that we now have the technology to spray crops with RNA is incredible. As the article said: "Monsanto is introducing a new technology..is the best way to make it real. For the scientifically literate, this is the dream molecule" and seeing this from the perspective of a science student I would like to see these new technologies available everywhere. The problem arise when we don't have the long term effects of what this might cause in our environment and health. There might be negative consequences as what happened with DDT or not (it is uncertain). But the fact that in 2015 we have all of these new biotech developed, makes me wonder if the public is ready for this type of achievement.

eridolfi
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby eridolfi » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:23 pm

I find it kind of frightening how much influence labels have over what we buy. Does anyone else find this creepy?

Selestine
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Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby Selestine » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:52 pm

My main concern with GMOs is that they should be tested for the short term and long term effects. Scientist should devote most of their times trying to prove that GMOs don't have any effect to the human health in any sense. They should show that eating organic foods and GMOs is just the same thing. So I urge them to work on all the negative effects that people normally assume in their heads and prove that they are all illusions. That way it would make it easier even for the 64 countries in the world that have currently banned GMOs in their countries to start producing GMOs and consume them.

JustinN
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby JustinN » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:08 pm

eridolfi wrote:I find it kind of frightening how much influence labels have over what we buy. Does anyone else find this creepy?


I think it's a eerie topic because of the idea that our subconscious has influence on our conscious decisions. As said in the article I posted, "most marketing efforts still forgo the subconscious in favor of targeting the rational mind." This in itself can be. A scary though since marketing on both sides of the GMO debate will attempt to appeal to your subconscious when you make food choices. I think the best way to go about it is to look at all the scientific evidence and make your decision from there.

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising- ... ind-158319

nyonan
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby nyonan » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:15 pm

jjquintanilla wrote:I find that this is an interesting topic. Despite the position of many anti-GMOs, I define myself as a supporter of GMOs. I feel that there is enough scientific data to show and demonstrate to the public that such method of crop production is not detrimental to humans. Further more, outside the domain of agriculture, the article mentioned that GMOs have been a part of the medical field and so I feel that they further enhance the life of humans. Also, the question of the "values" as mentioned in the article with regards the practice of science is an important thing to consider. However, despite this article said that it would be considered unscientific to label foods as GMOs, I find it to be informative to people because they deserve to know what they are consuming.


I think everyone ought to know what it is they're consuming, both in a sense of having it labeled and knowing what the label actually means. I agree with pretty much everything you've said though they do need to do some more extensive testing and yield such results publicly (and not through sensationalism media). I feel like all the turmoil is caused by everyone just being in the dark towards the actual facts and instead of looking into it, they all just jump to a side.

Michelle Tarango
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby Michelle Tarango » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:24 pm

After the discussion in class yesterday, I feel as though unregulated GMO labeling would not be beneficial to the consumer. While it would allow consumers to have more choice over their food products, I feel as though unregulated labeling could either cause panic or simply a lack of concern. Much like gluten-free labeling, grocery store products would be so inundated with labels, many consumers would not look at them. I personally don't look specifically for products that are touted as gluten- or GMO-free, and it ends up being just another part of the box to look at. I think labeling would need to be regulated for the effect to be the strongest.

jjquintanilla
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby jjquintanilla » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:45 pm

Looking further into the environmental part of the articles, it would seem that there is a tight correlation with the increase use of pesticides and the evolution of such pests to overcome these chemical substances. Although the use of genetically modified foods have allowed for an increase in yields; e.g. only certain crops under certain conditions, these yields may mean nothing if the use of chemical to protect them may lead to detrimental health effects to humans. What perhaps is most interesting about the article, reading it a second time, it would seem that it is not the GMOs that provide a risk, it is rather the substances that we use to kill pest that provide harm. These pest have become resistant and therefore, either farmers have turned to using more; either in terms of quantity or quality, and ultimately this has lead to altering the natural order of states such that other organism which are not pest to be affected as well: monarch butterflies and bees.

I believe that GMOs are not the problem, but rather the problems consist of the elements that surround GMOs.

dianalee
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Re: Sept. 1 and 2: GMOs? Not so fast (required)

Postby dianalee » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:54 pm

ktoporovskaya wrote:I would have to agree with the posts above. Labeling foods gives a negative stigma to the product. We label things like cigarettes and toxins that might be found in things we consume, GMO is likely to fall into that category in consumer's eyes. This would be a terrible outcome because we depend on GMO's to produce large quantities of food to sustain us.


Even though labeling gives a negative stigma to the products, GMO products still should be label. Every year, there are so much extra food ended up in the trash (I don't know the statistic) because they make way more than what we need or use.


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