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.


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"Releasing transgenic crops into the environment may have direct effects including: gene transfer to wild relatives or conventional crops, weediness, trait effects on non-target species and other unintended effects. These risks are similar for transgenic and conventionally bred crops (ICSU). Although scientists differ in their views on these risks, they agree that environmental impacts need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis and recommend post-release ecological monitoring to detect any unexpected events (ICSU, Nuffield Council, GM Science Review Panel). Transgenic crops may also entail positive or negative indirect environmental effects through changes in agricultural practices such as pesticide and herbicide use and cropping patterns."


However, the lack of observed negative effects so far does not mean they cannot occur, and scientists agree that our understanding of ecological and food safety processes is incomplete. Much remains unknown. Complete safety can never be assured, and regulatory systems and the people who manage them are not perfect. How should we proceed given the lack of scientific certainty? The GM Science Review Panel (p. 25) argues that:

There is a clear need for the science community to do more research in a number of areas, for companies to make good choices in terms of transgene design and plant hosts, and to develop products that meet wider societal wishes. Finally, the regulatory system … should continue to operate so that it is sensitive to the degree of risk and uncertainty, recognises the distinctive features of GM, divergent scientific perspectives and associated gaps in knowledge, as well as taking into account the conventional breeding context and baselines."

A lack of evidence may not be evidence of lack, but it certainly cannot be used as evidence of presence.

"We have very little data of what the affects of introducing foreign DNA and proteins into a food crop would have on our health." That's the only he said in that video that is a con, but its a very significant con. Yet he continues to describe how GMO crops don't have the same level of nutrients. So, the difference between how "foreign DNA" and the nutrient content of the foods is quite significant in my view. I think  that's one of the major sticking points for those opposed.

I am out of my depth in attempting to answer that specifically, but my general understanding is that there is no firm evidence that it has any effect what so ever. We only have a decade or two of data, so that conclusion may change. Note the modifiers; The current level of knowledge speaks to GMOs being safe. That is the basic science-based assumption. In any event, you consume foreign DNA every day (unless you are a cannibal).

"Yet he continues to describe how GMO crops don't have the same level of nutrients."


Are you an agro-biologist? I wouldn't expect you to answer that specifically because I could take a wild guess: no, you're not. I sent you a link in a previous post and far better than your video, does this explain pros and cons of GMOs. And far better it explains the still remaining uncertainty of its safety. http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/Y5160E/y5160e10.htm

You're an Atheist, I'm presuming. Welcoming the warm loving hands of God is faith, and welcoming the warm caring hands of corporations is also faith in my view. They both benefit from your faith. You're monetizing their institution.

And 6:10 is the timestamp.

Oh and I didn't mean to say "..don't have the same level of nutrients." I meant "do have.." Another example of how he so easily takes a con and uses something irrelevant to the actual point about: uncertainty to make you feel better about it...

"Are you an agro-biologist?"


"welcoming the warm caring hands of corporations is also faith in my view."

Oh please, this is juvenile.

"And 6:10 is the timestamp."

Where he states that there is little evidence to suggest that GM crops don't have the same level of nutrients? I don't see how the level of nutrient content has anything to do with with what the DNA of the plant is.

That's my point exactly, he immediately states that no evidence exists that the GM tomato has less nutrients than non-GM, DIRECTLY AFTER he talks about how little known health effects GMOs cause. He's using a completely separate argument for a rather huge con in my opinion.

Call it juvenile all you want, but that's how I see most corporations. Especially Monsanto...

I think you have misunderstood, it is a counter to the argument "foreign DNA and protein reduces the nutrient content". There's little evidence of that being the case.

I was a bit quick earlier, of course the nutrient content can be altered by changing the DNA, but it isn't necessarily the case. For example, it could potentially be lowered for countries with obesity problems and increased for countries with hunger problems. But it would be a selling point, not something hidden and/or nefarious.

@Justin P.

That video to me is very pro-GMO and with every PRO he gave, he had no potential CON, and with every CON he gave, he had a PRO. It seems very one-sided.

It's amazing how people watching the same video come to such different conclusions. I think you should watch it again and use pen and paper to count the pros and cons.

I wasn't speaking of the ratio of pros/cons, I was speaking of how for every pro he had for GMOs, he didn't counter it with a con (right away), but it seemed for every con he described, he rebutted almost immediately every time directly after he stated the con...

I also meant to touch on Monsanto and "lying". Um, yes, corporations lie. And some of them go to jail for it, and some of them don't. Monsanto does not have a good track record about divulging information honestly, but they are a corporation and a good corporation has good PR. One thing Monsanto does best is lobby. They have an army of lobbyists in Washington, like the tobacco companies did in years past. If history shows anything... Its not hard to see that their benefiting from a glimmering campaign aimed to 'end world hunger'..



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