TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Public Response to GMOs

In today's world when people prefer organic vegetables and ayurvedic medicines as compared to vegetables grown using pesticides and synthetically produced medicines , what response will the public have for Genetically Modified Organisms? Will they carry forward the trend of having customized organisms or will be a hindrance to evolution and prefer the same old stuff?

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Oct 31 2013: GMO's aren't "evolution." They are an unnatural manipulation of genetic information in ways that could never happen in an evolutionary process. Unless pigs learn how to mate with tomatoes.
    • thumb
      Oct 31 2013: You are kind of right... but Mankind has been GMOing since.... well, from the beginning of agriculture about 10, 000 ago. It was referred to as cross breeding, cross pollination, cross this and that. The thing that modern technology gives us is not having to go through 100 generations to get where we want to be.
      I got to thinking about your pig/tomato reference.... Down here in Texas, if I could get a pig already with BBQ sauce, I could do well.... yes, sir, really well.
      • Oct 31 2013: I know. But with cross breeding there is technically at least the remote possibility of natural occurrence, And as the term GMO is used in the public domain, especially in discussions of ecological issues, health issues, public policy, and so forth, it is usually used to refer to genetic modifications that aren't possible in nature.

        I like your example, but even then neither the pig nor the tomato entered into the relationship willingly . . . :-)
        • thumb
          Oct 31 2013: There is always a question on new technology. 500 years ago, there was no way to sail west to arrive east. And the same questions of public policy, health issues, and dangers where expressed. I am not saying that in 500 years mankind will find GMO a.... dumb idea, anything is possible. I am not just ready to get excited over GMOs because of a few fanatics shrieking gloom and doom.


          Well, OK, but tomatoes have no face... and when I put the pig's head into the pot for making headcheese, I always give him a salute. I respect and appreciate all good dishes...
          It is good to be at the top of the food chain.
      • Oct 31 2013: I am more concerned that in 500 years or less, people will find that GMOs were an ecological and even evolutionary disaster.

        I an not anti-technology, but we are charging ahead with technologies we don't really understand. There have already been instances of GMO-created problems that threaten the environment. All genetic modification might not be bad, depending on its uses, as is true of all technology; but the truth is that we can't really see what the potential side effects are. We don't know nearly as much as we think we know or need to know not to exercise extreme caution when we start fooling around with genetic codes.
      • thumb
        Oct 31 2013: I happened yesterday to hear a news program, Mike, in which scientists at the University of California were interviewed about genetically modified foods. One did say that ingesting the genes of fish and tomato in a modified product is equivalent in the body to eating tomato sauce with your fish.

        So your BBQ example may not be at all off the mark.
    • thumb
      Oct 31 2013: It depends. genetic modification exists since there is life on earth. Hint: mutations are genetic modifications. Without them life wouldn't have made it very far on earth.
      A different story is to create cats that exhibit green luminescence. That' probably is something nature would never have come up with. But pest resistant crops, if given enough time of mutations and natural selection are quite possible. As a matter of fact, many plants have mechanisms built in to defend themselves against pests.
      So, genetic modification,if done responsibly is accelerating natural processes that could take thousands or even millions of years.
      • Oct 31 2013: Given the number of possibilities for genetic modification that could occur given enough time and natural selection, the idea that corn, for example might eventually develop a Round-Up like pesticide represents a truly enormous "if." And the idea that we can step into that process and accelerate it in a direction of our own choosing without the risk of extraordinary future genetic consequences through that same process of enough time and natural selection is at least short-sighted and at worst dangerously arrogant.
        We have already seen damage to non-GMO crops through unintended cross-pollination and damage to insect populations through unintended effects of the GMO pesticides. Since we don't stop evolution by interfering in it, what are the possible outcomes of these kinds of side-effects projected out into an unknowable future.
        Sorry, but under this rationale, GMOs aren't accelerating natural processes they are diverting them, interfering with them, perverting them, and substituting our own limited and flawed vision of what they ought to do.
        Our current small understanding of DNA and the workings of genetic information may have valuable applications in area such as medicine, but we should proceed very cautiously.
        Giving a tomato longer shelf life or putting pesticides into the genetic make-up of an ear of corn is simply not worth the risk.
        • thumb
          Oct 31 2013: Again, GMOs is a generic term. It's like saying that technical appliances kill people while you actually mean that an atomic bomb kills people.
          The roundup resistance gene s a kind of genetic modification I don't support for a number of reasons (although if given enough time it might occur naturally as well).
          Cross pollination is another potential danger and we know that it already happened.
          Still, even with these negative cases, you can't make a case against genetic modification in general.
    • thumb
      Nov 4 2013: Could a pig be GMO'd with an airplane?

      Now that would be interesting, and probably appropriate, if it is ever thought that a manipulated version of nature is somehow better than the real thing.
      • Nov 5 2013: Of course, the "manipulated genetic modification" is better than the "real thing", otherwise why we make the GMOs in the first place.
        Here is another example, many cancer therapies, such as radiological or chemotherapy are nothing other than manipulation of the genes. And most recently there are even directly modification of the genes of the patient and put it back into the body of the patient. Is this kind of "manipulation" somehow better than leave the cancer patient alone to just eating natural food?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.