Genetic Modification
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03-04-2011, 08:32 AM
Genetic Modification
There's something I've never understood, and I was hoping that people here could help enlighten me. Why are there lots of people that are vehemently opposed to genetically modified/engineered plants and animals? I read a story about genetically modified cows that produce human milk to provide another alternative to breastfeeding for those that are unable. How is genetic engineering harmful, or if it's just not, how could it be construed as harmful?

I've never even heard an argument from the opposition of genetic modification, just people using the term in a negative light.

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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03-04-2011, 10:57 AM
RE: Genetic Modification
Genetic modification is a fear factor for a large portion of people, based on ideas brought forth in books and movies along with all other media. The idea of making things into a new breed and becoming shapers of life scares people extremely. Generally when people hear about genetic modification they always turn to extremes that are their only conceptions of it. Simple references are "The Island of Doctor Monroe", "gattaca". Along with photographs of human ears being grown in green houses on plants, and the headless chicken.

It is a mainly religious argument that humans are not skilled enough to adequately alter life, but a large number o people fall into this. The expectation is that something wrong wil happen and there is no going back.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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03-04-2011, 12:10 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
Here's a great video on the topic :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzTECVk8tVU

People are scared of the unknown - Lilith hit it spot on. People were scared of steam power , of electricity , of flight and of any technology they could not understand.
And I think the religious have a huge issue because humans are becoming more and more capable than their bearded man in the sky.
Last , there are economic interests. In the EU where I live most countries have a ban on GMO - but then again BASF the largest chemical manufacturer is in the EU so I'm making an educated guess , there are economic interests.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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03-04-2011, 02:00 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
I want a pet chickensaur.

Those are being developed in genetics labs right now :3

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04-04-2011, 04:36 AM
RE: Genetic Modification
Ahh, thanks, I get it! The video was also extremely effective in showing some of the other opinions against it. Thanks a ton! Big Grin

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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05-04-2011, 02:17 PM
 
RE: Genetic Modification
There are actually really sound reasons against genetic modification, beyond just religious ignorance. Things can go wrong with GMO's, like having a huge impact on the environment if species of genetically modified plants and animals get out. There are other reasons and such, but I don't know enough about it to explain it.
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05-04-2011, 02:26 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
Lilith +1. But theres more.

Not only do many people have a problem with 'playing god', but they also make claims such as bacteria which, when released, would have spread and killed all the plant life on the planet - as they were designed to break down dead plants, but couldn't differentiate between alive and dead.
All I have really heard is anecdotes. I keep asking a guy I know for the evidence, for papers, for an actual reason to accept what he says, but always anecdotes.

There are ~1,700,000 people in the world with insulin dependant (type 1) diabetes mellitus, they would almost all be dead if it were not for genetic modification. If we wish to remove genetic modification from the table, then what are the other options?
Killing hundreds of pigs for insulin over the lifetime of one human to keep him/her alive?
Letting them die?
It's fairly obvious which is the best option.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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05-04-2011, 02:49 PM
 
RE: Genetic Modification
Don't get me wrong, I agree we should continue in the field of Genetic modification, but i don't think it's wise to discard caution. Genetic modification has done a lot of good for humanity, but the problem lies in the floodgate effect.

Currently, 90% of corn is genetically modified (I got that statistic from an article in my biotechnology class in high school, so not totally reliable) and for good reason. However, many argue that this can lead to super resistant bugs and diseases that would wreak mass havoc. Although this is something that farmers can avoid by being cautious, but most farmers aren't.

But yea, my point is just that there are reasons against it.
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05-04-2011, 03:47 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
A little info about insulin for you guys. (I am a diabetic, been on insulin for over 20 years.)

Pork insulin (or the pork and beef combo) could be harvested from pigs being slaughtered for meat. So to say that 100s of pigs would die for one person to have insulin for their whole lives is not accurate. The pigs are being killed for meat. Now that we use "human" insulin, the insulin from the pigs is thrown away with many other usable parts of the animal.

As for "human" insulin (it's what the industry, namely Novolin, calls it. Their brand name is "Humulin"), it is not genetically modified. It is synthetic. There is a big difference.

My concern about GMOs is that there has already been a precedent set, by our favorite company, Monsanto, that allows a company to patent a genetically modified product. Monsanto owns the very first patent on life. Monsanto patented "RoundUp Ready Soybeans" and since then has monopolized the soybean market by suing farmers who's fields have volunteer soybeans belonging to a neighbor that uses the monsanto beans. Basically, if your neighbor uses Monsantos bean, and they blow into your field, Monsanto comes in and sues you for stealing their patent if you save your own seeds. The suspected (and VERY transparent) goal is to force all farmers to stop saving seed, and buy their beans instead.

So....what happens when a big company patents a genetically modified chicken, and a stray gets into my yard and fertilizes one of my birds. Then I hatch out the egg to renew my laying hens and I have the GMO that a company holds a patent on? I get sued, and the big company puts the small farmer out of business. Sound like a conspiracy theory? Nope. Monsanto has a separate division devoted to seeking out, and bringing suits against, any farmers that save their own seed.

There's more than just the question of "morally correct" when looking at GMOs. And thinking that people are looking into it to "feed the world" is both naive and dangerous thinking. The only people with the funds to research GMOs are big corporations. They ARE NOT interested in saving the world. They are interested in patenting life to make more money. These corporations do not make food sustainably. So thinking they are doing something that could solve hunger is just plain wrong.

Just visiting.

-SR
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05-04-2011, 07:50 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
So what do you guys think about genetically modifying humans? I know many people think it's a horrible idea, saying that everyone will want designer babies, and that everybody will look the same. I'm thinking that it would be great if we could get rid of all hereditary disease. Also we could fix all the thing that evolution hasn't gotten around to fixing yet. Like the appendix, wisdom teeth and so forth.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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