The Big Picture: Feeding Edge

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What farmers did wasn't genetic engineering, it was selective breeding or artificial selection (going by Darwinian terminology).

I know what you were getting at and I understand this isn't your area of expertise and so on, but correct terminology is important in these things. Artificial selection focuses on the physical traits or phenotypes while genetic engineering focuses on the genes or genotypes. And now I've bored you. You're welcome.

Here is the thing, company's are genetically engineering seeds they sell so they only grow once, and there for, making them more money. I don't mind GM food, I mean, potato chips are GM, you only have to read there packaging to find that out. No, its the company's that are taking advantage of the technology (if you can call it that) that I am worried about.

FMA reference, i love your videos because they talk about actual issues and such.

Through years and years of these genetic breedings, seeds start to get less fertile. The apple 100 years ago was much more bitter than the apple we eat today. That means our bodies are consuming more sugar than ever before, and this explains a lot of problems.

I have no problem with selective breeding or recombinant DNA, when done correctly.
I do however have a problem with the lack of ethics and accountability when it comes companies like Monsanto

What farmers did wasn't genetic engineering, it was selective breeding or artificial selection (going by Darwinian terminology).

I know what you were getting at and I understand this isn't your area of expertise and so on, but correct terminology is important in these things. Artificial selection focuses on the physical traits or phenotypes while genetic engineering focuses on the genes or genotypes. And now I've bored you. You're welcome.

yea he has a point, but in the end it all depends on what we are referencing and how it's exacted, now scientists can actually splice DNA in and out of cells. what bob said about the sheep, was in the wrong terminology but had the same idea behind it, physically u are making the best sheep breed with other sheep with the same wool output (for example) to make the next generation hopefully have the best or better wool output, this is selective breeding, in the end though both sheep have a gene that makes them produce more wool then others.

I think the term genetic engineering is more along the lines of actually taking the gene out of a cell and placing it in something else to make it ether better or something completely different.

I'm not from America, and I've never heard of those arguments before. I've also heard of good arguments against genetically modified foods, not because of health concerns, but because of socio-economic impacts (like huge corporations monopolizing on certain strains, killing off smaller businesses due to higher barriers of entry) as well as threats to biodiversity.

His argument that all people who don't trust GMOs are scared of science is foolish. He's making the same blanket statement in the opposite direction. All GMOs are good... don't worry about anything. Instead of all GMOs are bad, stop being a 'conspiracy theorists'.

This is what I can't stand about knee-jerk debunkers like this. They make up nonsensical arguments against this theory or the other and claim its a conspiracy theory, and then their alternative is, 'don't ever worry... there's nothing at all wrong.' It's just as lop sided as people who put their weight behind every nefarious 'conspiracy' or issue taking place behind the scenes.

Of course not all GMOs are bad for you... no shit. But not all of them are good for you either.

I'd advise people to do their own damned research and come to their own conclusions instead of relying solely on 'debunkers' or 'tin hat wearing weirdos'. But that's just me.

Good video, just want to point out one thing. Common misconception about defibrillation is that you can restart a heart with it, like you see in medical dramas. This isn't true. Defibrillation is simply a means of 'resetting' an irregular heart rhythm, it is actually useless once your heart goes asystole. A flatline is pretty much just treated with CPR and an intravenous vasopressor.

So I hope I won't get moaned at for this as I've only just watched this episode for various reasons and I wanted to comment and hopefully I've got something somewhat original to say on this that other's haven't already here.

Consider this me adding hopefully a new take on this discussion

Ok I'm actually a science grad (Environmental Chemistry) part of my course was Microbiology, Virology and microbiological application which contained info on potential genetic engineering.

So now you know where I'm coming at this from let me start.
Genetic Engineering is scary as fuck.

The belief that we know what every gene fully controls is a joke as that kind of research is still going on into what genes do what.

The simple and very real fear is that if we start tampering we could do something really dumb. You see we have no clue how changing genes will cause things to react to radical environmental changes. If you give carrots the ability to make their own insect repellent and there's a head wave. What is due to biological factors and decomposition of proteins we don't make a carrot that now produces poison ?

Now people are going to scoff at deadly carrots but here's the thing, it's already happened....... not carrots killing people but an attempt to genetically engineer bacteria to produce insulin. You see regular insulin is or at least was extracted from pigs and without telling people Doctors tried out new bacteria produced insulin. Within a week people were flooding back to the Doctors reporting the same strange symptoms: increased aggression, near constant state of annoyance and irritability and severe tension. some reporting how they angrily yelled at their family for seemingly no reason. It was baffling and the only connection was the new insulin. The Doctors switched them back and asked them to come back in a week and they were fine. Scientists couldn't figure out what went wrong and last I heard had scrapped the project.

The big concern is cross breading and passing said genes on to more and more of the present stock and reducing genetic diversity. The reason to maintain some level of diversity is to prevent genetic problems passing on and to allow the chance of immunity to emergent threats to be present.

Now killer carrots aren't all the problem not by a long shot.

The next part is when the genetic engineering is manipulating existing genes to wor over time.
BST hormone or bovine somatotropin is just such a thing. It's the hormone in cows which increases milk production when they calf to help feed the baby calf. What's been happening in recent years is in the US this hormone use has become big business as it ups the milk production of cows. The problem is it turns their whole body to just that task so they waste away to an extent. Horror stories are passed round of cows going to market at 4 years old having been on BST hormone for years and their hoofs dropping off as they walked round the ring.
Think on that for a moment.
BST is the reason milk from the USA is banned from being exported to most of Europe.

You know what's even worse though ?
Big companies greed.
Now you might be wondering how the hell big companies can become super greedy and exploit people beyond selling expensive seeds ?
Well generally farmers collect some of the seeds from previous crops and replant them.
Big business has found a way to stop those seeds from being viable.
They tried this for a while in Africa selling these seeds to poor farmers with the Terminator I seed.
Since then they've got more devious as no-one would keep coming back to them right when the seeds from the crop weren't viable.

Well this is where the new crops the Terminator II crops come in where the seeds from the crops are viable. However they're only viable in they're exposed to a certain biological compound and wouldn't you know it the companies will sell you some of this too.
You know the worst part of this ?
These crops can breed with others and suddenly the other farmers near by who bought the standard crop seeds now have seeds that also won't grow without the biological agent. Suddenly you've made larger and larger areas dependent on a profit hungry multinational to be allowed to grow crops.
You've literally given big business control over peoples food supply

That's why genetic engineering is scary as hell. It's scary because thinking of scientists as all knowing being that have this all under control and all work for the good of mankind is a nice thought but not reality.
Part of a research project I was on involved me developing a compound which in nature only occurs in puffer fish, due to this and the problem of extracting it said compound has a high market value and makes research expensive. I and the professor I was working under managed to discover a cheaper way of doing it starting with a chemical costing about $50 for 10 grams. the thing we produced costs about $1,000 per gram. Now the potential uses for this were firstly to be used as the starting point for anti cancer drugs and secondly it was theorised by one group (who wanted to test this) that it could be used to make the worlds most deadly poison.

Scientists like pushing the boundaries and while it's nice to hope all of them are doing good and helping humanity, trust me some just want to push the boundaries and every so often need someone to ask if they're not being a little well evil or creating something that could be used for evil. Scientists get a little too carried away with the research and not the ethics quite often and it's not till they've made it they realise how dumb it was to do it.

Thinking it's ok because scientists are people who must know better or why would they do it is something that's nice to think of but in truth when you're pushing the boundaries the reality is no-one quite knows. Scientists can make a very good educated guess but until it happens they don't truly know.

Oh and just to be clear this is taking genes from ones species and placing them in another it's not natural evolution of the species or human guided evolution of traits.

However because I want to make you feel a little better after all this scare story stuff meet an actual useful piece of genetic research.


Yes that green light is coming from the rabbit, Bluebell is a glow in the dark rabbit. The research used was to attach a genetic markers and implant genes into living animals. In the future it's been suggested such techniques could be used to help prevent genetic illnesses.

It's scary as hell because it could create conditions we never expect and essentially eliminate the viability of that plant .

It can be used in such a way to put profit before animal welfare

It can be used as a means for big companies to control farmers especially in developing nations and exploit people.

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