The Big Picture: Feeding Edge

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PhiMed:
I agree with pretty much all of this video, but I have to take issue with one thing you said. Defibrillation doesn't work on "dead" things. It only works on certain types of electrical rhythms. This tissue is alive. It's just not functioning properly.

I always get irritated when I see people applying the paddles to someone who's flat-lining in television programs. You don't shock asystole. You shock ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

Just thought I'd put my two cents in.

Pretty much this. But it is a minor point and a common misnoma

I think there is certian type of person why obessively decrys the GM industry and we can see a few examples in this thread. People who claim to "Know the science" and attempt to call you "Ignorant". Much of what is said about GM crops, both simple and sweeping and more complex, is straight up LIES. In USA there is a problem with agri-buinsesses attepting to squeeze out pf basic regualtion but they have tried to do that with everything from stanrdards control to pesticides but this is an isolated issue and one that does not effect a WORLDWIDE industry. Here in the UK we have had very srtingent and responsible testing and even then it has caused huge panic and hysteria for something that, and bob is DEAD right here, is simply an acceleartion of a natural process.

Im sure if you told most of these GM-a-phobes that you were going to sell some "Cloned Wheat" they might go into panic mode but what few people realise is that ALL of the worlds comercial wheat is clonded. GM is just a word, like cloning, that evokes issues unconected to it's true meaning.

GM is about designing crops the meet needs and should be properly regualted and tested yes but it is not some phantom bogyman. I will leave you with a quote from this thread actually, something that made me laugh a little from an 'informed critic' who 'knows all the facts'

mtarzaim:

On everything else
Others posters have already stated the other wrong points in this video, and the overall ignorance about this subject some escapists seem to hold.

To add a little to the mix: Man-engineered viruses are held in strongly (I hope so) secured facilities, which get blown at the first sign of leaks.
Why aren't GMO under the same standards?.

I think the panic stricken sufficiently assassinate themselves with their own words

geierkreisen:
You may think Star Trek, I think Dune.
You may think "for the good of mankind", I think "for the good of the monopolist".

It's not really a scientific problem, it's an economical and social one.
While a farming dynasty can, say, breed the perfect sheep for their benefit, Monsanto and others genetically engineer crop and vegetables to dominate the market.
They even go so far as to "unsex" plants so that they don't produce new seeds which have to be bought for a hefty price every damned year again and sustainability and independence go overboard.

I only fear the day when Monsanto's Sardaukar-crops have eliminated all and every "organic" AKA traditional alternative and some African farmers have to go Fremen on His Imperial Highness' corporate ass.

Yeah there is aspect, but there is also other glaring problems to the current model. For instance, you could factor in the gallons of fuel a day we use to maintain this crop, constantly spraying pesticides on them, driving the yield to a factory across the country, that factory burning massive amounts of energy to package and sort the product, and then they are driven to select warehouses which in turn distribute several trucks in order to deliver it to you local grocer and restaurants. This is a lot of energy we are talking about here.

If you also factor the fertilization of the land, you have another issue. Before the current model of food growth was in place we used to let the remaining plant matter from the crop decompose on the land which in turn fertilized the soil for the next year. Now we are too scared of superbugs and bacteria that we simply clear off the land and rely on chemical fertilizers. This is problematic in itself. This is simply because the soil is not receiving the proper amount of minerals and nutrients to sustain growth.

To sum it up. GMF's ... OK to a certain extent, but what about everything else surrounding this issue. If these nuts spent half the time focusing on the real issues we would seriously rethink this model. We are not the first generation to use faulty methods that damage the environment in which we live, but the price is exponentially higher once you factor in that we operate on a global scale. Call it tree hugging propaganda, I call it survival.

The big problem that I have heard of with GM foods is that the different 'brands' have been patented. By huge American food companies. And then if cross polination occurs, you have to pay them for it. If you can't, you get sued until you have to sell them your farmland. They get more land, more cross polination, more sueing etc. etc. rinse and repeat.
The biggest problem, as I see it, is these major business' domination of the American food market, and their power within the American political system (which, for most of you, is probably a lot, and I do mean a LOT, more than you think) and through that their power over the world food market in general.

A most excellent point. People need to really figure out what they are rallying against before they do so. There is some validity to the fact that we are still unsure what messing with some things will do, either in the short term or the long term but if it's gotten to market chances are it's safe enough not to worry about.

Also ironically, as you mention in your Splice review, limiting mainstream science is what puts scientists on the fringe and outside jurisdiction to begin with.

This is not the "The Big Picture" just look through the comments. This topic is way too big to be covered in a view minutes. Bob you should really reconsider the name of this show or try harder to deliver a big picture.

is nobody finding it ironic that we are displaying all this:

evil cooperations are poisoning us! and This technology is evil!

stuff while that is exactly the stuff that is being held towards the game industry?

I mean ofcourse it sounds a bit off and this kind of research takes big company kind of money so it will always be big companies involved in this kind of field.

but lets keep a level head and look at the incredible amount of good it could do for the world food problems. A combination of proper breedcrossing and genetic engineering could ensure good harvests in poor and uneducated countries.

So don't fear the technology, but fight those that abuse it. The people in labs working their butt of to better the world deserve that much

Negatempest:

Geek_DR:
Hello escapist and Movie Bob,

Long time watcher/reader, first time commenter.

While I do find the fear tactics about GMOs annoying and eat them all the time without concern for myself, I think you addressed the argument very poorly. There are actual concerns about GMOs and you didn't address any of them, sticking to the "science = good" argument.

For example, health concerns aside, GMOs do damage the diversity of the ecosystem and the plant species in particular. This means that all of the crops can be wiped out by a single disease. (see Irish potato famine.) Secondly as a crop, GMOs mean that a corporation can claim ownership of a species of food (like trademarking carrots).

Wait, this is the potato famine of 1840's right? Where the irish grew dependent on a specific crop and once it was nearly wiped out alot of people starved? Doesn't that have less to do with GMO and more to do with NOT depending on one specific crop and having more diversity?

As for the trade marketing of foods....we have trade marks on nearly every noun and that has more to do with economics that GMO. They are similar but completely different. Heck we as people pay for everything that would keep us alive except air.

Yes the Irish grew dependent due to selective breeding, a process that was equated to genetic engineering in the video. GMO's have this effect but many times over as there is a complete lack of diversity in the crop. They may be resistant, but if something gets them, every farmer's crop fails.

In relation to the trademarking of food, it means companies such as Monsanto, (Thanks fellow commenters, I couldn't remember the name.) can force a monopoly on farmers as they effectively have the sole ownership of the crop. Other people have said it in this thread, but there are all sorts of sketchy business practices around the trademarking of crops.

XShrike:

And your point is that some corporations will do anything to increase their bottom line? New methods and technology often have a period where only a few have control of it. Unfortunately this can lead to blinding greed. Corruption is a whole other monster I don't even want to get into. I don't know about the rest of the world but, what I am finding says that GE products are still regulated by the FDA, USDA, and EPA. Just as the corporations push for less regulations there are others pushing for more.

Genetic Engineering is one of a number of methods required to feed the growing population and doing it efficiently. I would recommend reading up on Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution and credited with saving the lives of an estimated billion people from starvation and malnutrition.

I am doing my reading on Norman Borlaug right now, as a courtesy would you care to invest about an hour to watch the documentary I quoted? Maybe we can enlighten each other on the topics of the necessity of genetic engineering (which I am at the moment denying) and the deficit of governmental control on genetic engineering (which I sadly can't deny at all).

Rblade:
is nobody finding it ironic that we are displaying all this:

evil cooperations are poisoning us! and This technology is evil!

stuff while that is exactly the stuff that is being held towards the game industry?

I mean ofcourse it sounds a bit off and this kind of research takes big company kind of money so it will always be big companies involved in this kind of field.

but lets keep a level head and look at the incredible amount of good it could do for the world food problems. A combination of proper breedcrossing and genetic engineering could ensure good harvests in poor and uneducated countries.

So don't fear the technology, but fight those that abuse it. The people in labs working their butt of to better the world deserve that much

I am a progressive democrat with a strong ethical and academic background and as such I am growing weary of sentences like "there will always be big companies involved in this kind of field". And I don't fear technology or any other bogeyman. Sadly human progress is put synonymous with technological progress (the only reason I brought up Dune, because in that book it isn't). Corporate feudalism does away with humane decisionmaking, just as extreme bureaucracy does and the Third Reich did away with it. Monsanto may put food in your belly, but it enslaves you and your people. Pessimists may say that this is the way of the world, but I feel the urge to pick up my pen in protest as thousands before me took up their crossbows, pitchforks, donations, micro-loans, and wikileaks. Some may take up their microscopes and petridishes to do the same, sadly most seem to see their tools merely as a means to make money and to put food on their tables, not to better the world.

Van Orange is still the royal family of the Netherlands

As many people have already pointed out there is a big difference between selective breeding and genetic modification. GM not only allows you to "switch on and off" certain plant traits, but you can also cross different species of plants that would never inter-breed naturally, in order to hopefully get a desirable trait. Sometimes you get very undesirable traits, which without proper testing can get into the general food supply and hurt people. An interesting book on the topic of our food supply in general is "The end of food" by Paul Roberts. It's not all doom and gloom, but it does take a critical look at agri-buisiness and our food supply.

I've gotta disagree with you here, MovieBob. Genetically engineered plants can actually lead to increased need for pesticides instead of lowering it and spread into the wild, where they could potentially be harmful. Genetic Engineering also allows companies to patent living organisms.

There's also a pretty significant difference between selective breeding and genetic modification.

Edit: I just remembered something else: I remember that one of my Bio teachers told us that the traits of these plants, such as resistance to different weed-killers, could actually spread to the weeds that are supposed to be fought with said weed-killers, essentially creating super-weeds that would cause huge damage. I don't quite understand how that'd work, but he's a biologist, so he should know.

Bob I'm pretty sure that in the movie Frankenstein took a bunch of different dead body's, made it into one and then resurrect the creature.

and there is a different between brining someone back that has been dead for 10-20 seconds to someone that has been day for days for even weeks

Urh:

C_Topher:

http://www.gene.com/gene/news/press-releases/display.do?method=detail&id=4160
Alright, I'll admit I got the dates wrong. I should have known better seeing as I'm about to write a final exam on the topic in a couple of days. Still, 30 years is a pretty long time. And I'm actually a student to someone who worked in the lab that harvested the pig pancreases used to produce the majority of the Western world's insulin (located in Winnipeg, the more you know).
Also, I did NOT claim this is 100% safe. I'm well aware of the limitation of the technology, primarily the fact that the mechanisms for gene expression and regulation aren't fully understood yet despite how long they've been studied. While we still have a ways to go, that doesn't necessarily mean it's not safe to consume GM foods. It just means we need to be smart consumers.
Finally, DO NOT bring up Chernobyl. That was caused not by the technology but by the people using it: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub913e_web.pdf
Nuclear power is safe provided you don't screw around with safety protocols, so stop using it as the baseline for the evils of technology.

I was not "using it (Chernobyl) as the baseline for the evils of technology" (one thing that really gets on my tits is when somebody accuses me of being a Luddite, deliberately or not). I was, in fact, trying to cite Chernobyl as an example of the problems that arise by the irresponsible use of technology (and we appear to be in agreement here). It is my heartfelt opinion that science is purely amoral in the truest sense of the word (which is to say that it is neither "moral" or "immoral") as it is merely a tool, like a hammer - the "morality" lies in the person wielding the tool. As an (oversimplified) example - you can use a hammer to build a house, or you can use it to cave somebody's skull in. If the hammer is used for the latter purpose rather than the former it is not the hammer that is evil.

I think that genetic engineering, if used sensibly, can indeed be a useful tool. In my opinion the trouble is that our understanding of biology is still rather lacking for us to safely use genetic engineering with confidence. We shouldn't be hysterical about GE, but we sure as shit need to be vigilant, wouldn't you agree?

Yes, I do.

I, for one, welcome our new Cyborg-Food overlords.

As for genetic engineering... Well there are some ways in which it pays off, and others in which it doesn't.

Namely, the priority on engineering food with a longer shelf life. While this enables the global food system to move food further from its origin, it typically trades off flavor, leaving the food tasting kinda bland.

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, for instance, are quite delicious, but because they have a very short shelf life and are delicate as glass, you can only get them at farmers markets or other providers of locally grown food.

While I enjoy that prolonged shelf life lets me eat strawberries and apples all year long, the taste is quite disappoint, as is that of food that is modified to grow larger: usually, the larger a fruit gets, the blander it is. And when it comes to food, I hate nothing more than a big, bland carrot. I much prefer a standard sized, sweet carrot.

While I admire you desire to calm people down Bob, there certainly are trade-offs from certain choices our genetic engineers make. But then again, I guess it just means we need to start buying our preferred types of engineered food.

What you are saying is that GM isn't Inherently bad. This is obvious. Why it needs to be stated boggles the mind. To advocate that anyone hesitant about GM is ridiculous for doing so is to ignore the huge and disgusting ethical and humanitarian black hole of the GM industry. Seed patents wherein you can sue a farmer because your seeds from the neighboring farm infected and took over their fields? Making seeds self destruct after one generation so people have to buy them every time they harvest? That that genetic "self destruct" could spread to other species, as can happen in this co mingling world we live in? Come on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto is just the tip of the iceberg.

Does this mean GM is good or bad? No GM is neutral as is any other tool which we have at our disposal. To me advocating it as "good" or "bad" is equally irresponsible, if we want to talk about such we should talk about implementation up to now. So far GM doesn't have a very good track record in terms of responsible use, it's a shame because it's an industry which hasn't lived up to it's potential as of yet; a force for good it could very well be. The potential is there, let's see it done right.

I can see the discussion value in whether we should mess with our own DNA, to eradicate genetic weaknesses, hereditary diseases etc. (Personally I'm all in favour of it, and while you're at it ,GM me to only absorb 10% of the fat and sugar I eat so I can live on junk and lose weight :D )

However, they're plants, they don't get to have rights, if we want em growing bigger, stronger,faster, and tastier, while being immune to diseases and rot and insect resistant, lowering the need to spray them with chemicals, then hell yeah, bring it on.

I'm not even sure if it's true, but I read of the leaders of some third world countries refusing GM foods because of the fearmongering.

If I was in some crappy african village, struggling to even get enough water to get thru the day, I wouldn't be concerned about what a big pile of free food would do to my descendant's health 200 years down the line, I'd be eating and happy. I'l take not dying of starvation this week over a potential risk that something bad might happen if some fearmongers are possibly right.

Also, on the subject of the criticism of Bob's Frankenstein piece.

Sure it's not exactly factually, medically accurate,but it's closer than say, the link between digging up a bunch of corpses, sewing together the good bits and firing lightning thru them, and say, making a carrot that grows a bit longer?

keserak:

That's nice. To me, having worked in both the sciences and politics, hearing someone who's probably from industry obscure the issue makes you look like part of the problem. To each his own.

Just to clarify this point. I'm not in the industry. I actually do research at a public university. My research specifically is focused on bioinsectices to control insect vetors for malaria, dengue fever and such diseases. It's just the bacetrial toxins we study are also used to control crop pests and therefore I'm continually exposed to all the workings of these companies. I've had to defend both your position and the opposite one on several ocassions. I'm under no illusion companies like Monsanto, or their more temperate counterparts, Pioneer and Dow, have any altruistic interest at hand. They are trying to increase profit margin. I think we agree that in itself does not make them evil.

keserak:

Wow, that's misleading. While Wal-Mart is certainly a noxious company due to a variety of anti-union and anticapitalistic pratcices, saying that the problem with Monsanto is that it's like Wal-Mart completely misses the dramatic challenges to law and politics that Monsanto represents. Transformation of patent law into a legal sword harms both biotechnological research and puts, conceivably, billions at risk. It's a ludicrously horrible example of political corruption -- it may well be the most potent example, given the industry's successful pillaging of property it it cannot conceivably own. If we're all children, fine, I guess one can say is that the respective companies do naughty things, but the similarities end there.

Well, Wal-Mart may not be patenting anything, but my analogy was trying to show how the pursuit of profit by a powerful company can literally crush small business by throwing its weight around, both in politics and economy, without so much as blink at those smothered under their steamrolling path. All around the world it is creating monumental pressures to negotiate with them and them alone in order to get your product to the market. It also does all around twisting of law and political interests to shield itself from attack. Maybe not the in the US, but in other countries it does abuse the legal system to its advantage. It's not patent law but the approach is not different at all. Also, on the subject on patenting, I'm also not in agreement with copyrighting an already existing organism. Patenting genes or organisms one discovers gets by blood boiling. However, in essence, the crops they are selling have never existed. They engineered them. They invented them. 99% of the plant's genome may be the same, but they're not patenting that. They're pateting what they put in there, and by extension its delivery vessel. And as anything that was invented by anyone they have the right to patent it. They way they are weilding that patent right is another matter entirely, and it's a problem of Estate and Law regulation but not of the invention as is. That could happen in any industry that gains a grip on a basic necessity. These companies saw the opportunity and jumped on it. To me it just seems too broad to blame GM crops for devious administration. A gun may be used to defend or murder. It's not the gun's fault the user is souless bastard.

Proportion is in order as well. I'd say the amount of people harvesting vs the amount of people eating is quite different. More people are put at risk by not having high yield in agriculture than the ones directly affected by GMO companies. That's not to say I'm ok with disregarding and pillaging farmers, just that argument must also be seen from the other side. Direct benefit must be juxtaposed to risks at all times.

keserak:

You protest too much.

I never questioned their ability to use science to advance their agenda -- that's all that can be taken from your ambiguous use of the word "science."

I claimed, straight-out, that the company has no concern and has taken nothing close to sufficient measures to protect the environment from ecological damage. We know this because the company actually uses ecological damage as a strategy for theft. Contaminating native stocks is not a bug, it's a feature.

There's nothing ambigous about my use of the word science. It may be applied science, not basic science, but it still uses the scientific method that's required for anything to be approved. From the first DNA amplification to the moment you analyze the content of whatever you put into the plant to quantifying crop yield it's always done with controls (as in counterselection of undesired effects, comparisons with wild type growing plants, etc, etc.) Using technology to advance someone's agenda is not new. It's a tradition of human existance. The ideal that all research should be done for research's sake is fine and all, but rarely realistic. It used to work way back when scientists were also counts and lords and aritocrats who really had nothing to loose by just playing around. That's not today's reality. Also, if we waited to know how every single variable of what we have done will play out we would never get anywhere. It's beyond the scope of humans. We're not prescient. Even if we know exactly how something is affecting now we can't know what other variables will come into play 50 years from now that arose in a completely independent way from agriculture endevours. People work on educated guesses which sometimes fail. I'm with you that maybe more measures should be put into place but as to what those may be I'm at a loss. Plants do what plants do. Pollen evolved into this sticky microscopic thing that gets carried around by anything. It's not a feature, the GMO wasn't engineered to send pollen into the wind. It already did that. Again, the fact the lawyers saw how to exploit the situation to their greedy hands comes back to legislation and market control, not to the organism itself.

shiajun:
Do you actually know how long it takes from the idea of introducing x or y thing into a crop to it reaching the supermarket?

keserak:

Yes. Do you know how inappropriate it is to tranform patent law into a scheme that covers biotechnology? Do you know the kind of profits you can garner through destroying and capturing and patenting native, milennia-old foodstocks and forcing small farmers to grow only from your own seed? Is there a reason why your irrelevant facts were introduced here?

keserak:

Maybe you should dismiss your own bias and reread the post. Given the risks involved, industry controls are wholly inadequate; saying that they have said controls is making a completely unsupported assumption. Namely that the industry is concerned with issues besides its own profit margin. Experiments, and therefore their controls, are used by Monsanto to ensure that its products will be profitable for Monsanto, not to ensure that the products will be safe for the environment at large. Not only isn't that the case, we know as a matter of law that they profit when they do not bother with such experiments.

I repeat. I'm not at all ok with anyone patenting something that's already out there, even if you already know about it or casually stumble upon it. I'm not even sure how those things get through. What I'm saying is an invention, something that required tinkering and testing and multiple tests to come up with something new can be patented. It just happens to be better that what's already out there. I know about the weird grey ethics at play here, but I'm putting it this way so you see that as a company they have as much right to do it as the people who invented the microwave oven.

By the time and tests I meant to show that the process is even more ardous and complex than getting a drug out. It's much more regulated and it still gets circumvented sometimes. We imperfect humans make imperfect laws. When a law shows its cracks then it's time to go back to the drawing board and make another imperfect law that'll patch the error and improve our control. Then some wise guy will find the new crack and exploit it. The recurrent argument against GMO corporations always ends up sounding as an argument against the "Corporation" term and the nasty things they will seek to do to profit and less at the "GMO" part of the name. GMO escape into the wild is a fact. It seems daunting and scary and it is to be contended with and monitored.

The beautiful thing about biological systems is they tend to find a way to balance themselves out towards changing circumstances. I don't remember exactly where, I think it was somewhere in Malaysia, that some GM crop started spilling & growing outside crop fields. The scare of it displacing native species became a concern. Until some pests that preferred the yummy new variety started eating up the invading variety came by and became a sort of natural control. Granted, it's just one example and the rabbits in Australia show what happens when such a thing doesn't get self-balanced......in human time terms. I'm quite sure life will go on after we strangle ourselves or blow up in some bizarre war, maybe even with some biological waeapon. Life will continue on, adapting to the new conditions. Loss of biodiversity is a bigger problem to US than to the environment, which will explode again in biodiveristy after we're long gone. It has happened and probably will happen again.

keserak:

Again, so what? It should be under the perview of the FDA. That's the point. (As it stands, the FDA does have influence over these entities, but it "regulates" in the same way that a well-paid and competent hooker "punishes" a john.) In the same way cigarettes were kept free from FDA regulation due to sheer bribery, our bureaucracies can't even claim proper jurisdiction. In effect, you're claiming that "things shouldn't be better because they're already horrible."

keserak:

No, I know that the point of their tests is to ensure the wealth of their respective companies, not to protect anyone else. You are, again, making unfounded assumptions. The problem is Monsanto is using a U.S. model of legal responsibility: the burden of proof is on the plantiff to show environmental harm, as opposed to, say, Germany, where the company creating an environmental problem is assumed to bear its legal responsibility. As such, Monsanto has no real reason to bother with experimentation that would do nothing but give it knowledge that would ultimately increase its liability.

So, in summary, regulatory bodies are not doing enough. OK, fine. What's to be done about it? It's not about pressuring the company itself. They just doing business. It's about pressuring the government to police rampant greed with more efficiency. It's happened in banking, and oil, and electricity, etc, etc. The unfettered offender now is the newer techonology where rules are still not set in stone. The quicker the better.

To wrap it up. To me the protest against GM foods on the basis of capitalistic malpraxis and not on biological principles is missing the target. People should be advocating for better regulation but not dismisal of the technology. The panic Bob referred to in the video is advocating the latter and that's what's unguided about it. I really believe that to humanity's maintenance the benefits far outweight the detractors. What MUST be done is distribution of power so no one has a firm grip on human nutrition.

"The spice must flow". Yeah...but it must not only come from Arrakis.

My primary concern w/GMOs is that i've been under the impression that, with the creation of a GMO, one can claim all legal rights to the usage and distribution of that GMO. Effectively offering corporate farming chains the ownership of specific types of organisms.

Corn farming is an excellent example.

I suppose the fear here is not so much nutritional (though the disconnect between our evolved relationship with our food and the food we're actually feeding ourselves is concerning) as it is economic and ethical. If one business can own the broccoli most people eat (calabrese) then that business has the freedom to tailor that broccoli to it's business model and farming specs.

henritje:

apperently you didnt saw the vid its not like they are stuffing it with radiation or something they modify it on a genetic level (IE rewriting the blue prints) if genetic engineering would have anything to do with that it would REMOVE those effects instead of ADDING them, you should be more afraid of your computer turning agianst you then your carrots giving you cancer
PS there is a bigger chance of getting cancer from taking a walk in the sun then getting it from genticly engineerd food

You do realize, that the Chernobyl example was only there to illustrate that a well accepted technology can bear risks that you won't know of until something bad happens, right?

Also, woulnd't you agree that radiation is not the only thing you get cancer from and that it is absolutely possible that the long-term effect of a combination of the "natural" components of a plant or animal with the added "engineered" components (like making pigs produce fatty acids they wouldn't normally produce or whatever) may cause cancer? I mean, there are a lot of substances which were used in the past and which are now banned because after twenty years we found out they cause cancer, so how can you be so confident that this doesn't happen with the genetically modified food you're eating?

Actually the difference to the unmodified food, that was only shaped by regular selective breeding, is the timeframe. How do you know your carrot doesn't kill you? Because humanity had a thousand years to find that out, that's why.

Fact of the matter is, that no one in this business performs the long term testing that would be required to know all the sideeffects of releasing those new species into the world, because no one has the TIME and the MONEY to do it, and regardless of what they find or don't find, I think it is reasonable to be concerned about that.

With unmodified organisms we know if they're safe because they've been here for thousands of years.

With modified organisms we CAN'T know because the technology itself is only 18 years old (the first genetically modified organism to be commercially used is a virus-resistant tobacco in 1992 - sweet irony, because with tobacco we already KNOW it causes cancer ;) .

I rest my case.

Oh my god! Tomato gear!
yeah, and also, remember that movie that warned the populace against eating vegetables? remember its NAME? ;)

I'm glad so many people out there are assured that something that can be untested and dangerous is safe just because the word "science" applied to it. The fact is humans don't fully understand genetic tables, or what effect "just turning a trait on or off" can fully have, as all parts of a genetic structure are connected and changing one thing can have effects on several other traits. I'm sorry that properly breeding things takes too long for the I-want-it-now generation, but I personally would rather let nature tend to things such as sorting genetic anomalies and such, because as history has shown us, humans are short sighted arrogant and ignorant in all things. We tend to do whatever it takes to get the outcome we want and ignore any side effects or problems that crop up along the way.

Oh and Bob, a defibrillator does not restart a heart that isn't beating. It stops a heart that is beating improperly in the hopes of it restarting itself properly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defibrilator check out the pop culture section.
So really bringing someone back from the dead is still in the realms of science fiction, or bad daytime dramas, except in odd and truly rare cases.

geierkreisen:

Rblade:
is nobody finding it ironic that we are displaying all this:

evil cooperations are poisoning us! and This technology is evil!

stuff while that is exactly the stuff that is being held towards the game industry?

I mean ofcourse it sounds a bit off and this kind of research takes big company kind of money so it will always be big companies involved in this kind of field.

but lets keep a level head and look at the incredible amount of good it could do for the world food problems. A combination of proper breedcrossing and genetic engineering could ensure good harvests in poor and uneducated countries.

So don't fear the technology, but fight those that abuse it. The people in labs working their butt of to better the world deserve that much

I am a progressive democrat with a strong ethical and academic background and as such I am growing weary of sentences like "there will always be big companies involved in this kind of field". And I don't fear technology or any other bogeyman. Sadly human progress is put synonymous with technological progress (the only reason I brought up Dune, because in that book it isn't). Corporate feudalism does away with humane decisionmaking, just as extreme bureaucracy does and the Third Reich did away with it. Monsanto may put food in your belly, but it enslaves you and your people. Pessimists may say that this is the way of the world, but I feel the urge to pick up my pen in protest as thousands before me took up their crossbows, pitchforks, donations, micro-loans, and wikileaks. Some may take up their microscopes and petridishes to do the same, sadly most seem to see their tools merely as a means to make money and to put food on their tables, not to better the world.

a good point. But in the little time I've been in university I've seen enough completely ungrounded sceptesism towards engineering achievements to give people conducting genetic engineering experiments the benefit of the doubt.

however. I say give hell to companies with unethical busisness models. In whatever way works.

But I'd like to have it noted their being bad companies and good scientists (working in good to reasonably good companies) is not mutually exclusive.

maby there could be a kind of solution where universities get some global funding and the exclusive rights in this field but that tends to stretch things due to bureaucrats (sp?).

Although I applaud protest I prefer people offering solutions instead of pointing out something is worng (2 things that, by the way, aren't mutually exclusive either)

The bad genetic engineering is not selective breeding, or turning on or off existing genes. It is the introduction of completely different sections of DNA from one species into another. Do you think corn naturally has a gene to make it resistant to Roundup brand insectaside? They always say they use GM techniques to increase yield and such but mostly it is just to sell more chemicals to spray on food. They have to go to extreme lengths to make this happen, using what they call a "Gene Gun" to attach portions of DNA to tiny particles of things like platinum and firing them into the cell nucleus hoping the DNA will take. At lease in Frankenstein only human parts were cobbled together into the monster. With GMO foods they are creating cross species combinations that could never occur in nature. And the things were never tested to be safe, they were simply pronounced safe buy the FDA or USDA (through extensive lobbying) before any GMOs were actually ready and on the market.

Bob, I enjoy your videos, but please do a little more research next time.

dashiz94:

k-ossuburb:
snip

Want to know what sometimes gets into bottled water?

Arsenic. You tell me how that's "organic."

And is that different from "organic" water? I'd love to hear how water gets called organic. There's all kinds of bottled water anyway. Spring water, distilled water, filtered water, etc. I wouldn't be at all surprised if spring water had arsenic in it. What about the others? And where did the source come from?

The problem with your comment is that it only pretends to say something but really doesn't say much of significance, and tries to discredit a whole range of items by association. It's very similar to someone saying "You know what sometimes gets sold at videogame stores? Postal. You tell me how that's appropriate for children."

I don't know enough about the issue to contribute meaningfully to the debate, which is exactly why I didn't make a five minute rant about something I don't understand. Perhaps Mr. Chipman should crack open a book, rather than getting his facts from Star Trek reruns and lucid dreams.

I thought this was perfect for the topic (sorry for quality)

.................WHAT???

Ahhh double post!

Sorry my bad.

Another good video but worst genetical scare situation are in Russia even brain damaged nocare bulls afraid of genetics

http://www.ntv.ru/novosti/184918 perfect example

sorry double post

ReiverCorrupter:
To summarize the more intelligent points in this thread.

1) Selective Breeding and genetic engineering are very different things.
2) Genetic engineering is far more unpredictable that breeding.
3) Genetic engineering is not inherently bad, and in fact can help to solve many problems.
4) Genetic engineering of food should continue, but it does need stricter regulation, and laws need to adapt so that companies cannot abuse the technology (as far as copyright laws etc.)

In conclusion. Bob is incorrect insomuch as there ARE legitimate concerns that accompany the new technology, but he is correct insomuch as we shouldn't fear it but rather lobby for regulation reform because it can ultimately be a cause of great good.

Just to reiterate:

GM is VERY different from Selective Breeding. Pleiotropy and the complexity of cellular mechanics means that we DON'T know all of the effects of inserting new genes or changing their activation sites. This means that the commercial use of GM should be HEAVILY regulated until we have a better ability to predict potential future side effects. Not only on the subjects themselves, but on the environment and biodiversity if they are to escape.

Also, the laws need to adapt to make sure that Corporations don't abuse the technology. To be clear, I hate the American political system along with both parties. However, one has to realize that "self regulation" usually only happens once colossal mistakes have already been made and people have died. Sure it is in the best interest of corporations to make sure these failures do not happen, but the ultimate goal of a corporation is to make profit, not to support the community, and often times they take risks. In this case the risk they take isn't just with their own profits, but with public safety.

An example of this is the BP oil spill, where someone decided to cut costs on safety protocols. When the safety protocols failed it wasn't just BP's stocks that took the hit, it was the entire gulf of Mexico.

The entire point of government is to insure the interests of the public it represents. It does this by restricting rights. I don't have the right to go out an murder somebody, but by limiting this right I feel it is safe for me to go out in public. It's a trade off. We weigh the inherent value of the rights vs. their negative effects on society. The right to murder fails this test. I think the right to risk public and ecological safety for the sake of profit also fails this test.

Businesses can't self regulate because they aren't objective; they're self interested. The regulation happens after they finally push the limit too far and something terrible happens. But by then it's too late. There's no pressure against businesses that take risks, only against businesses that have lost because of their risks. It's like giving a five year old a bag of candy and asking him to limit himself. You have no one but yourself to blame when he throws up all over the Persian rug.

PrinceofPersia:

McShizzle:
Not very happy with this one Bob. This very glib presentation has been refuted by other posters far better than I ever could. If your problem is with hollywoodesque stupidity and mainstream media fear mongering, then yes I believe you've got something to argue. My question then would be, "Why the hell I should heed the advice of a gaming websites movie critic or a couple of conservative comedian/magicians on a topic so imporatant as the food we eat, how it affects our lives, and coporations dicking around with it?"

Because you heard the arguments from both sides and the hippies in greenpeace have no idea what they are talking about, whether it is genetics or agriculture. Besides when did Greenpeace save a billion people from starvation? Hint: It never did, that was Dr. Norman Borlaug who introduced new strains of wheat, rice, and other agricultural technologies to other parts of the world. If your going to bed with full bellies you have no right to protest GM foods. Oh and you spelled important and corporations wrong, bub.

Why thankyou for your insightful response. Also, good call on my spelling errors. I had forgotten that spelling errors completely invalidate any point you may have, so thanks for the heads up. I believe you're correct, all of those farmers, consumers, scientists, and regulatory bodies that have real concerns about GM foods and the industry that goes with it are a bunch of Greenpeace loving hippies (Grrrrr hippies!). I'm also quite confident in stating that our friends at Monsanto definately share the same high minded ideals and ethics of the late Dr. Norman Borlaug. In fact, I believe they have a new product coming out that will be retailed under the name SOMA, that you might very much enjoy.

Cheers

McMullen:

dashiz94:

k-ossuburb:
snip

Want to know what sometimes gets into bottled water?

Arsenic. You tell me how that's "organic."

And is that different from "organic" water? I'd love to hear how water gets called organic. There's all kinds of bottled water anyway. Spring water, distilled water, filtered water, etc. I wouldn't be at all surprised if spring water had arsenic in it. What about the others? And where did the source come from?

The problem with your comment is that it only pretends to say something but really doesn't say much of significance, and tries to discredit a whole range of items by association. It's very similar to someone saying "You know what sometimes gets sold at videogame stores? Postal. You tell me how that's appropriate for children."

What? In no way, shape, or form does this relate to selling Postal. The packaging companies for these water bottles sometimes get EXCESS amounts of arsenic in the water, either by accident or on purpose. Yes, arsenic is present in water, but not in high enough doses to pose a serious threat. In bottled water? The concentration can sometimes be much higher.

My main point is that we need to make sure safety regulations are in placed and ENFORCED. I know such requirements exist but unless the government really starts to crack down on them then they're pretty much useless. The same argument applies with genetic engineering. Packaging the water or genetically engineering carrots isn't the problem, it's the methods by which they're done.

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