Ellen Ryder

Student ,

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Why don't we eliminate Genetic Modification from all products?

Genetic modification has been proven study after study that it causes harm to our bodies. In the United States, we don't even have the mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified products, so this poses as a large problem. Our Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture are controlled by former Monsanto employees, the same people that want all foods to be genetically modified. Let me remind you that Monsanto is a CHEMICAL company. I am fearful for what these genetically modified items are doing to my body, so I demand the elimination of this Godlike corruption of nature which would end governmental subsidies, prevent farmer bankruptcy, cut back on many antibiotics for livestock and, most importantly, stop the POISONING of our human population.

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    Mar 25 2014: "Genetic modification has been proven study after study that it causes harm to our bodies."

    No, it has not. Nor do we need *yet another* GMO alarmist conversation on TED. You will not be able to point any reliable data linking GMOs to health risks, just like any of the dozen or so previous posters were not.
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      Mar 26 2014: Agreed. Sounds more like a conspiracy theory to me than a scientific fact.
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        Mar 26 2014: What about Arpad Puzstai, a Hungarian scientist who made a study with rats who were fed genetically modified corn. He concluded that the rats had sizeable tumors, shrunken testes and holes in the digestive tract. I won't find any studies because the chemical companies self-test every product. Wanting to make money, they rig the results. Also, chemical companies like Monsanto have gag laws for all whistleblowers. Who would want to fight a multi-national corporation in court? If you still think it's a conspiracy theory, then look up Jeffery Smith on YouTube. As the founder of the Institute of Responsible Technology, he wrote the book Genetic Roulette explaining the harmful effects of GMOs not only on our bodies but also on the environment.
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          Mar 27 2014: I think we should be more worried about what to feed people than what not to. Considering the widespread proliferation of GMOs in the market and the millions currently eating them, if they are as dangerous as you say they are there should be so many deaths or at least, sickness because of it right about now, but instead the population just keeps growing, and feeding ever larger numbers is a growing headache especially to struggling governments. Would you take an apple from a hungry child's hands just because its a GMO? Further, GMO is too broad a term, the fact that our papa chose our mama because of her looks makes even us a GMO. That's called active selection. You need to be more specific about what you want to ban. Perhaps you haven't heard of this. I believe it sums up the situation about GMOs nicely. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax
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          Mar 31 2014: The Royal Society of Medicine declared that the study ‘is flawed in many aspects of design, execution and analysis’ and that ‘no conclusions should be drawn from it’.[11] For example, too few rats per test group were used to derive meaningful, statistically significant data.
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          Mar 31 2014: People shall not fight corporate producers - they shall IGNORE their questionable products.
          No stupid consumers - no questionable production.
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    Mar 31 2014: "Why don't we eliminate Genetic Modification from all products?"
    Scenario
    -all GMO is eliminated from all products tomorrow, all fields growing GMO food are burned, all GMO food at grocery stores are burned, all stockpiles of GMO grains are burned.
    How many people die?
    How many people's innards will be burning as they radically change their diet after eating GMO food for years?
    How many people will have no affordable food available?
    If you want to eat GMO free food, then go ahead. If you want to go a step further and grow your own food, then go ahead. If you want to go a step further and provide long term, consistent GMO free food to those who cannot afford to buy their own GMO free food, then go ahead. If you want to go a step further and create a commune where everyone shares responsibilities, works together growing food, lives off the grid, well that's tough, good luck with that one, but go ahead.

    What step are you at now?
    1. Do you eat 100% GMO free food?
    2. Do you grow your own GMO free food?
    3. Do you provide long term, consistent GMO free food for others?
    4. Have you created a GMO free food commune?

    What is the reason you believe all the food producers will label their food containing GMO if a law is passed?
    Not everyone has money to eat GMO free food. If you have money to eat GMO free food, then go buy it and eat it.
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    Mar 29 2014: I firmly believe that there are a number of good reasons for us to ban the use of genetic modification, and personal health concerns are simply the tip of the iceberg.

    1. Allowing for Monopolizing of a Crop
    Many small farmers have been negatively impacted by the use of round up ready crops due to contamination, and patent rights. When farmers seeds are contaminated by round up ready seeds they can and have been taken to court in order to financially benefit Monsanto and others at the detriment of the farmer, either requiring the farmer to stop producing the product or forcing them to commit to using only the GM seed.

    2. Lack of Respect for the Earth
    Ethically I have concerns that in moving to GM produce we are telling nature that we know better. The earth and our ecosystem has been around much longer than our current generation of scientists, and unfortunately our decisions today are impacting the long term sustainability of our agricultural industry. I believe that we should look to the natural wisdom of the world and learn to work harmoniously with it rather than fight directly against the natural order.

    3. Harm to Humans and Others
    While I will acknowledge that the research in the GM use is not finished nor is one side or the other of the argument won I do believe there is evidence to negative impacts on both animals and humans from GM organisms. Check out http://www.gmoevidence.com/ for some of the research that has been done on the topic (the site is admittedly biased towards the GMO free movement).

    4. Using GM Crops for Wrong Reasons
    If we were looking to utilize science in order to improve the output of crops to help improve the lives of those who do not currently have enough to eat I may be more on board with GM use. However much of what has been done has been for the purpose of making it cheaper to produce (automated the use of pesticides and other chemicals) or in many cases to improve the visual appeal of the product (ex. Brighter red tomatoes).
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      Mar 31 2014: ADAM, THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATIVE POST.

      I COULD NOT PUT THIS TOGETHER ANY BETTER THAN YOU:

      2. Lack of Respect for the Earth
      Ethically I have concerns that in moving to GM produce we are telling nature that we know better. The earth and our ecosystem has been around much longer than our current generation of scientists, and unfortunately our decisions today are impacting the long term sustainability of our agricultural industry. I believe that we should look to the natural wisdom of the world and learn to work harmoniously with it rather than fight directly against the natural order.

      3. Harm to Humans and Others
      While I will acknowledge that the research in the GM use is not finished nor is one side or the other of the argument won I do believe there is evidence to negative impacts on both animals and humans from GM organisms. Check out http://www.gmoevidence.com/ for some of the research that has been done on the topic (the site is admittedly biased towards the GMO free movement).
    • Apr 4 2014: 1. Allowing for Monopolizing of a Crop
      False. Companies have little to gain from making false accusations against farmers. A famous case that went to court actually found evidence that the farmer was guilty of having used unauthorized GMO seeds. People don't know because an "innocent" farmer against a Goliath company sells more newspapers.

      2. Lack of Respect for the Earth
      We have been improving upon what nature has produced for quite the millennia. Just take a look at wild corn, or wild bananas. While you're at it, check how healthy are wild almonds. Nature is not all nice, take a good look. Still, I agree that we could learn a lot from nature. But we are far from having enough of an understudying that would allow us to feed everybody using engineered ecosystems. If we relied entirely on "natural order" many of us would be dead. We have no option but continue improving the use of GMOs and every other alternative available. But opposing GMOs for being different to nature?

      3. Harm to Humans and Others
      Each GMO is different. It all depends on the genes added. There's no evidence of harmful effects other than what we would expect from any food, like a few people with allergies. The web site you linked is far from having actual scientific evidence of harm from GMOs, and looks suspiciously propagandistic.

      4. Using GM Crops for Wrong Reasons
      I would agree that we should use them for good reasons. I would add that we should not oppose GMOs for the wrong reasons either. What's wrong with making crops cheaper to produce?
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    Apr 2 2014: I hate to repeat myself, but there is almost nothing we eat today that has not been genetically modified. For millennia we have used selective cross breeding, plant selection .etc.
    So, modern means of doing this on a molecular level is suddenly evil or is it just the fact that a large company has a business plan exploiting this situation.
    Europe does not allow GMOs. Because they are bad or their farmers don't want to pay for the seeds and the importation of GMO products will depress the price of foods.
    There so many real issues out there to be concerning and GMOs are not the list.
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    Mar 31 2014: Great Question, Ellen.

    European countries do not accept food produced in the USA for decades.

    Why do we, Americans, still produce and eat it?
    Why do we keep feeding the hungry all over the world with that questinable-quality food?

    My answer is --- we shall buy food from selected stores like WholeFood. It is better to consume less and not to pay more.

    Blinded by advertisement Consumers have no clue how much power they have over colossal producers -

    our power works the best when we're ignoring the mindless greedy producers :) No fights, no timeconsuming war with the establishment or "researchers" .
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    Apr 9 2014: I read a website earlier today about what is in MacDonalds french fries and it illustrated a valid point about what is wrong with much of the hysteria about GMOs. As one of the ingredients they listed canola oil and pointed out that the vast majority of the oil is from GM canola plants and how dangerous it was. What they failed to mention was that the genetic modification done to said plants has nothing to do with oil production. Oil samples from GM and non-GM canola are identical so it is literally impossible for GM canola oil to represent any kind of threat that regular canola doesn't also represent. It's a bit like claiming that red cars go faster and actually believing it.
  • Apr 3 2014: Actually, no. GMOs don't cause any more harm to our bodies than any other food. Remember that GMO is a very generic thing. Each GMO is different and you can't just imagine that because they have genetic modifications you can treat them equally. It is not the same to add a gene for nutrition as to add a gene for producing silk, etc. Blanket generalizations about their effects reveal ignorance about what GMOs actually are.

    Mandatory labelling of GMOs is an expensive enterprise. Since each GMO is different the only effect of such labelling is to scare people for the wrong reason. So labelling should only be enforced when there's a true potential problem, not just because some ignorants think that GMOs in general are "bad."

    Whatever Monsanto might be does not change the fact that GMOs are different and that they should be understood on a case-by-case basis.

    Godlike corruption of nature? So you think that nature equals good? OK, if you were in the middle of a bunch of organically-naturally grown hyenas, would that be good to your health?

    Again, you have to understand what GMOs actually are, and what modifications each might have before judging them, and before being afraid of them. Don't allow propagandists to scare you about something the very propagandists don't understand themselves. Don't take my word for it either. Get properly informed instead. Just avoid propaganda.
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      Apr 10 2014: Yes agreed. GMOs could be no more dangerous than superfruits being more healthy. It seems that the human body only takes what it needs and throws everything else away. Now that's nature for you. It is more of a question of propaganda than any real health concern. I really don't understand why people lose sleep over how healthy their food is and such. Go ask a poor hungry family what they think. Moreover, its actually more healthy to eat 'dangerous foods' or be in dangerous places. Let the children wallow in the mud! It builds up their immune system and teaches their body to be more resilient to diseases. Any other 'poisonous' chemical is only such with the right amount. If we would be strict about it, why don't we ban air? Oxygen is highly poisonous and corrosive all by itself. As they say, its the dose that makes the poison.
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    Mar 31 2014: Ellen
    I must remind you that mankind has be eating GMO foods for about 12,000 years.
    If you are upset that former employees of Monsanto are now working for the FDA and Department of Agriculture, then write to congress to stop the crony capitalist's swinging door to government jobs.
    Eating GMOs for the most part will harm you only if you eat to much of them. They will put on weight and cause obesity problems.
    I am not sure that the "Godlike" corruption of nature would end government subsidies and prevent farmer bankruptcies.
    I am not sure that any corruption is Godlike.
    Treating livestock with antibiotics doesn't qualify as a GMO, but can be another conversation.
    As far as the poisoning of our human population....you haven't made much of a case.
  • Mar 27 2014: Believe it or not but people will do anything for money - http://www.monbiot.com/2004/03/09/seeds-of-distraction/
  • Mar 27 2014: This is a warning. "Independent Animal Studies Showing GMO Harm" - http://www.globalresearch.ca/potential-health-hazards-of-genetically-engineered-foods/8148
    Don't ever say that you weren't warned. http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/download.html
  • Mar 26 2014: "As of 2013, 64 countries require GMO labeling."
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food
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      Mar 26 2014: That is definitely not a coincidence. In Europe, governments trusted private labs to do research on GMOs. Their data was not biased nor looking to guarantee profit which is why the United States still has GMOs and the majority of Europe does not.
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        Mar 27 2014: Did it ever occur to you that the majority of European countries have banned GMOs because they know they can't compete internationally on price so they have set themselves up to supply non-GMO produce at premium prices to those that wish to buy them? What do I base this on you ask. The fact that Tasmania our southern most state (I'm an Aussie) has done the same in regard to both non=GMO and organic produce.
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          Mar 27 2014: I was not aware of that. At least Europeans have labels that state if some ingredient(s) in their food is genetically modified. I understand the idea of economic benefit of genetically modified products, but in the long run, those products would hinder that country's education system and economy. Not to mention the extremely high healthcare costs for the entire country. If people are getting sick off of gmos, then that is an economic hindrance because people who would normally be working would be laying in a hospital bed. Also, gmos have been proven to produce lower yields, so the universal "let's-feed-our-growing-world-population" idea is even hindered with the planting of gmo crops. Not to mention all of the pesticides being sprayed on these crops that polluting the soil and the water supply in addition to our own bodies.
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        Mar 27 2014: Over here all our food testing is done by either the CSIRO (a government funded agency) or "not for profit" NGOs and we haven't found any health problems associated with GMOs. Also if GMOs don't produce higher yeilds why do farmers grow them? And before you say "Big Agribusiness" over here US companies have very little influence.
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          Mar 27 2014: In the US we have a system where all gmo products are verified by the companies that produces them, which creates corruption and false lab results to sell these products to the American public to gain profit. One word for farmers growing them: Subsidies. Governments hand out billions of dollars in subsidies so that farmers can keep growing those staple gmo crops on monoculture farms. That money goes to paying for the seed and loads of pesticide required to grow those crops. Also, being an organic farmer is extremely challenging since a gmo crop's pollen can travel through the air and end up in their fields. Since the company with the patent seed found it growing on an organic farmer's field, that company has the right to sue the farmer and make them switch over to the gmo seed. It makes me sick how companies can get away with this. As for US company influence, you'd be surprised how many US companies have ties around the world, especially in India although I don't recall if they have ties with your country.
  • Mar 26 2014: "Batten down the hatches!"
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      Mar 26 2014: We will not win until the people demand GMO labeling and non-GMO foods. Thanks for the support!
      • Mar 26 2014: I, we in the EU, have already won. You, N. America, can win by simply buying organic.
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          Mar 26 2014: Yeah, that's the only way we can win. Plus, a bunch of organic food producers produce foods in other brands that are genetically modified. Put simply, it's double-sided. Once people know about GMOs, then they refuse them. The corporations only make products people will buy.
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    Apr 22 2014: "Genetic modification has been proven study after study that it causes harm to our bodies"
    That's actually patently false. Where did you get that idea from ?

    Sometimes it's frightening as to how poorly informed people are about GM.
    Asking for the elimination of genetic modification from all products is similar to asking to remove all chemicals from all products.
    In both cases, it's taken out of any context. There are chemicals that, under certain circumstances can cause harm and there are is genetic modified stuff that can do harm.
    But the key is, you can't generalize that.
    As for labeling, I'm for the labeling of GM food, mostly because I believe the consumer has the right to make informed choices.
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    Apr 19 2014: The GMO fanatics continue to beat this (pardon me PETA members) dead horse. The latest challenge come from county officials in Hawaii were these crops are often tested for farm growth after being developed in laboratories. Complaint County officials are concerned about the safety of county residents being so close to these GMO foods.
    These officials have been besieged by anti GMO fanatics scaring the bejesus out of them with all sorts of dire warnings.

    I have visited Hawaii on a few occasions, a great place for vacations. A great state. But, lets be honest, like all other states there are pot holes in back roads.... criminals... we've all seem Hawaii 5 0.

    What has not happened in Hawaii is any deaths attributed to the consumption of a GMO food... in fact, I could never find anyone who died eating GMO foods specifically attributed to the fact the food was a GMO. I have heard of "studies" but they were found to be flawed.

    So, what gun is held to the heads of these county officials.... the power of the courts, they can be sued.
    Now another mini misguided group finding tools to impose their will on the majority of the people. OK, the majority of the people are not really concerned about GMOs, but they do like that summer sweet corn with lots of butter either creamed or on the cob... but I digress.

    So one more group in the domination of the majority by the minority. What concerns me... will there be one day when these minorities will waken the sleeping silent majority and find themselves looking at felony consequences for imposing their wills on the majority all these past years. I for one would be happy to place the keys under the jail.
  • Apr 13 2014: While some of the business practices of companies like monsanto strike me as downright shady, and I admittedly have some reservations about extensive use of gmos without testing, this reservation is a luxury most of the people on the planet don't have. While gmos haven't made a huge impact on global hunger, this is because of (in my limited understanding) political and economic reasons, not because of a lack of potential. While it seems that so far the development and implementation of gmo crops has been motivated by profits alone, they may one day affect as many people as Henry Wallace's hybrid corn or Norman Borlaug's high yield disease resistant varities of wheat.
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    Apr 10 2014: "Genetic modification has been proven study after study that it causes harm to our bodies."
    Can you actually name even one study?
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    Apr 2 2014: .
    Simple reason:
    Some of us do not know invalid happiness.
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    Mar 28 2014: Let me clarify. The genetic modification that I am talking about is not natural. It is the process of taking dna from one species and putting it into a completely different specie's dna. It is not two members of a species creating offspring or anything of the sort. This is trying to preserve tomatoes by inserting fish genes into its dna. This is making corn produce a chemical so that it is resistant to bugs. If the chemical in corn is resistant to bugs, then what harm could it cause humans? Lots, especially to the immune and digestive systems.