Hey all,

I haven't visited TA in a while, nor have I posted in such amount of time either, but I have an inquiry that I hope some of you may touch on...

I've noticed that there are quite a few Atheists/Secularists out there who are supportive on Genetically Modified Organisms in food and drink products. I for one, am not. But aside from that, I'd like to know why exactly you're supportive of it. Do you believe in what corporations like Monsanto say? Things like "GMOs allow us to feed the world.." (generally speaking) and what not? Or is it the science behind it?

I'd love to have some interesting conversation about this.

Thanks!

Tags: genetically, gmo, modified, organisms, science

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I was against them for fear of unforseen consequences but have generally decided that they are good.  We won't feed the world population without them and global warming will likely require some to keep food production up.

 

Humans have affected genetic make up of organisms for millenia, just less rapidly.

 

Matt

Its hard to imagine its the one and only way we could feed the world population. And I don't really understand how it affects global warming (citation?). I don't discount the fact we've been modifying genetic organisms for a long time, but just because we can now do it more rapidly doesn't mean there can't be consequences. I think GMOs, as they currently stand, are in the best interest of the corporations than they are of the well-being of the world. Monsanto does nothing but lobby themselves for the growth of their company and profits, not to get their GMO crops to the middle of the worlds' most impoverished nations. And when they do, its hard not to see they're doing it just to save face.

I have no problem with the science of GMOs, but just because its science doesn't always mean its for the greater good...

I would suggest his reference to global warming was because as the climate changes, it may become unsuitable for many crops. For evidence I would look to the crops in Western Australia where the farmers are finding it harder every year to make ends meet because rain is becoming more and more scarce when it's needed, and on the random year when their crops are still viable, it rains heavily at the wrong moment destroying half of the crops anyway. In situations like this, where farmers are really struggling, I can understand why they might decide to move to GMOs. This doesn't apply to all crops. I know there was a study done on a specific bean crop which found that the predicted effects for climate change in certain areas was in fact beneficial for that particular species.

That's a valid point, I didn't get that from his statement, but I see now. I guess it still comes down to, for me, is that we grow food for us and livestock to eat and my main concern is the very minuscule amount of information we have about how eating GMOs, both us and livestock, affects us in the long run. But its all yet to be seen, I'm sure.

Crop yields, per acre, in the U.S. (and elsewhere) have multiplied radically over the last half century. Without the research and technology to improve crop production we could never sustain the current world population.

As global temperatures rise, we will need to engineer veggies that will grow in higher temperatures, on marginally arable farmland, with greater pest resistance and with less water. Technology is a double-edged sword but it's a good thing we're good at it. We're going to need it BIG TIME.

Exactly.

 

Although the alternative to growing more food to feed more people is to grow less people.  Abolish the catholic church anyone?

We're kinda doing that though. Birth rates are around 2.5 in the world these days, and still declining. Educating women and an expanding middle class helps out, and there might be more fundamental biological drivers behind it too.

I hate to say it but increasing crop yields to feed a growing population results in an undesirable feedback loop with rather obvious consequences for human-caused climate change. .

Hmm, it is a given that more people need more food, but is it definite that more food breeds more people past a certain point?  Obviously eliminating death from starvation would have a serious short term impact on population but does the evidence not show that as infant mortality decreases, birth rates fall?  After all, the fattest countries in the world are the slowest breeding, and all the countires with negative population growth have completely eliminated hunger.

 

So unless you meant a different feedback loop, I have to disagree.

 

Matt

A negative feedback loops is still a feedback loop, and i didn't specify positive or negative.

Fertility does increase when nutrition goes down, but a point is reached when even that won't increase the population.

Anyway, as they say, "The way to Hell is paved with good intentions." This is just one of many cases wherein wanting to do good just makes things worse or at least doesn't make things better.

Man is nature's sole mistake.

Yes . . . that's true, isn't it! Population control, if not reduction, needs to accompany ag-tech.

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