Talk:Genetic modification

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Just wondering about expanding into real criticisms. Namely that trials aren't particularly open and that a lot of GM seeds are "terminator" seeds. The situation certainly isn't just about ignorant anti-science advocates not understanding what GM crops are. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:34, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

It's all about applications and methods isn't it? A lot of the resistance seems to me to be pretty uninformed. But on the other hand there may be legitimate concerns about any new technology.
One can imagine that drought-resistant or pest-resistant plants would be a good thing. Furthermore they could be created using conventional breeding - it would just take a lot longer.
On the other hand producing terminator seeds which oblige poor third-world farmers to buy new seed every year could be ethically dubious - and also difficult to do with conventional breeding.
So the problem is not with the technology itself but with to the uses to which if may be put. And in this regard it is similar to almost all other technologies.--BobNot Jim 19:56, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Whats the problem?[edit]

If you're half starved in Burma you aren't going to give a shit if you are eating GM crops (That might leave you at a 2% greater risk of developing an allergy sometime over your life cycle) There is so much woo associated with GM. MarcusCicero (talk) 13:34, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Agree with you there. The thing is that there is little solid, long-term research on GM crops (as laboratory modified crops have only been around a few decades) that it is easy for many to get paranoid about them. Remember, the fear of the unknown is always the strongest fear. And that statement is epitomized by fear of GM crops. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 14:27, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Trouble is they're advocated as a solution to a problem that isn't caused by not enough food - it's caused by speculators - David Gerard (talk) 14:50, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
No its not. Russia has suffered a massive drought and much of their annual crop (Including quite a lot in Eastern Europe, Ukraine etc.) is destroyed. Russia consequently bans exports of grain for an indeterminate period of time. Thus food prices rise astronomically. Some hoarding does happen, such as that fellow who bought up lots and lots of cocoa, but the speculation is a product of crop failures, not the problem itself. If food supply were to increase dramatically the opening for speculators would decrease considerably. MarcusCicero (talk) 15:17, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Furthermore, we have reached a plateau in available farmland. Right now we have to exploit more of what we already have. Especially if the global population rises by 4 billion. MarcusCicero (talk) 15:20, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Ever think the solution might be population control, not ever-increasing crops production? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:02, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Suggesting 'population control' really freaks people out, and for good reason. It brings up images of the state forcing women to get sterilised after two children. Or the state producing a parental ticket system, whereby women can only have a child after the consent of some bueaucrat in some office somewhere. Or China and their one child policy. One half of the globe have managed to stabilise child production at 2.7 per woman. That must be the ultimate aim. the other half can average this too, with appropriate development and education. Coercion simply cannot be the answer. MarcusCicero (talk) 17:08, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
People are unlikely to accept population control, it's true. But you're making a "but, nanobots!" argument - some theoretical (I'm giving it more credence than "hypothetical" here) GM food may be spectacularly better, but the present stuff isn't, particularly. Which is unsurprising given its purpose is to make money for Monsanto through intellectual property ownership, rather than by being better for the consumer. That there may be a "there" there in the future does not mean there is one now, and certainly does not mean that your glib assertions in the article hold - David Gerard (talk) 17:45, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
What on earth are you on about? GM crops increase crop yields - hence GM crops provide more food, which in turn help sustain a growing population. If you disagree with the premise of the following (A) That GM crops increase crop yields B) That GM crops improve global food supply C) That the global population is increasing) then there isn't much I can say here. Other than you are peddling the same kind of woo this website is supposed to make a stand against. MarcusCicero (talk) 19:08, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say anything about coercion. But it is a simple mathematical fact that at some point the population must be stabilized, we can't just keep making more and more food forever. The planet is finite. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:42, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
(A) is a very dubious assertion. The GM crops I am familiar with (flavr-savr tomatoes, glyphosate-resistant soybeans) merely make agribusiness easier to do. Neither increases yields. Are there others which genuinely do? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:44, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
GM crops are engineered to be resistant to disease. They are engineered so as to make biodiversity (a waste of resources and yields per square metre) un-necessary. Massive, intensive agriculture is the way forward, unfortunately. Just look at some of the phenonomal successes of agri business in Brazil over the last decade - a tropical country that went from being a net importer to now being one of the largest net exporters on the planet. And they did it by exploiting acidic soil in the south, without overly damaging the rainforests (That occured in earlier decades as a result of extensive agriculture and largely ruinous farming practise - which has ultimately failed. The new model in the south is both sustainable and a nobel example to African countries in the tropics) Big business doesn't necessarily = bad/evil/montgomenary burns MarcusCicero (talk) 22:38, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
"They are engineered so as to make biodiversity (a waste of resources and yields per square metre) un-necessary." That's a citation needed if ever I saw one. You sure nanobots aren't involved somehow? Or amplification with diodes? - David Gerard (talk) 23:02, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a nerd. I'm not going to go digging around on the internetz to back up my point. Whether you believe it is factual or not is up to you, I couldn't care less. My assertion is based on an interesting article in last week's economist. MarcusCicero (talk) 23:04, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I really don't understand the problem with GM foods. Of course agricultural business hope to make money selling them - that's why they are in business.
But in order to sell them they need to be "better" in some way. Say resistant to drought or pests. You can do exactly the same thing with conventional breeding - it just takes a lot longer. So a drought-resistant plant produced by conventional breeding is "good" and GM one is "bad"? Why?--BobSpring is sprung! 13:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
What's worse is that it's not only the conspiracy theorists and "natural food/cures" nuts that are afraid of it. I know quite reasonable people who have also bought into the fear (and because I studied biotech, they make sure I know about it). Woodgod (talk) 18:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Promoting a misconception[edit]

The previous edit said "There are several methods to modify the genetic makeup of an organism." That's implying that genetic modification can change the genes of an existing organism.Fdof (talk) 02:27, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

I know it's not the main subject of the article, but isn't that what gene therapy does?--Weirdstuff (talk) 06:06, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree it could be worded better, maybe "...methods to obtain an organism with a different genetic makeup"? The end product of these methods is a modified organism, but we need to somehow highlight that it won't be the same one. Gene therapy typically uses retroviruses, which AFAIK are rarely used to obtain GMOs, so it's a different issue. --Tweenk (talk) 01:36, 24 January 2013 (UTC)


Anti-GM food sentiment in Europe is antiscientific woo promoted by protectionist European agricultural interests, who want to lock out competitors from countries where agriculture is more efficient. That's why Europe lost the GM Food WTO case in 2006, although they still haven't complied with trade rules fully. Weorthe (talk) 00:16, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

That's your point of view, which really look like anti-European resentment/conspiracy theory to me. Why do you think that it's not just genuine doubt/fear? Do you have any proofs to back it up? I mean, we had mad cow disease not long time ago, which was a real disaster for UK, so people are scared of what they eat. So when something new comes from abroad (and in that case, USA, well known for their, *cough* healthy *cough* food) which doesn't really look like necessary from here (the last famine in France was in 1789) and is accompanied by unclear practices (patent policy), the minimum is to be really cautious (even if it takes years).Sultan Rahi (talk) 09:32, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Shill accusations, poisoning the well, etc?[edit]

I'm thinking that a section on this would be great, but I'm not sure how I'd phrase it. Does anyone else want to give it a try? It's extremely common when attempting to debate the topic online. Firemylasers (talk) 03:36, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

There's also the that think any change brings disaster -- (talk) 06:30, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I got a section started with a link borrowed from a recent WIGO. I couldn't think of what else to add, but it's a start at least. Wehpudicabok (talk) 06:45, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for getting it started! Firemylasers (talk) 08:12, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I can put together some stuff on the naturalistic/Luddite issue later. Thanks for the suggestion. There's also some lingering issues with Seralini's section that I need to correct (I forgot to add a few of the sources and the wording is a bit awkward in places). Firemylasers (talk) 08:12, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
If you mean the article about "appeal to Monsanto", there is some text on it in Monsanto. I'm also working on a separate article that covers genetically modified food specifically: User:Tweenk/Genetically modified food. --Tweenk (talk) 20:09, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
No, I was focusing on the appeal to nature. What do you want to do about this article and your article? They should either be merged or split. I'm planning on adding more information to this one, but we seem to be working on overlapping sections of the subject, so we should probably predefine where everything should go and move it into the public namespace. Firemylasers (talk) 01:01, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I've moved my GM food article to mainspace. I think the article on genetic modification should have some information on how the modification is done and its non-food applications, while the GM food article should be exclusively about food applications of DNA recombination; it may also discuss GM animals. --Tweenk (talk) 01:33, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Since 99% of the concerns and a sizable portion of the rest of the article is on food, should we turn the genetic modification article into a stub and move the controversy/Seralini/applications sections to your article? Firemylasers (talk) 02:00, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
The part about various types of modifications and human genetic engineering should stay here. There should also be a list of things for which DNA recombination is used outside of food uses, e.g. insulin production. The Seralini material should eventually go into a separate article on Seralini. The rest could be merged with the GM food article. --Tweenk (talk) 22:56, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Human animal chimera research, genetic patents and a fuller list of genetic engineering techniques are valid[edit]

I'm not saying everything I added is per the mission statement, but at least some of it is; this should be edited, not completely deleted, so I'm restoring it until a discussion is had here. Choosing bacteria and viruses as the only techniques to mention is listing 1/4th of the techniques used. The chimera research addresses futurism like the other transhumanist articles. The patent section deals with the authoritarian concept of corporations owning genes, even naturally occurring ones. Why no explanation in the edit summary saying this was off mission? Exiled Encyclopedist (talk) 07:32, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

You are writing like this is Wikipedia. Your edits focus on the history of Genetic modification rather than the woo and controversy surrounding it and are therefore mainly off-mission. Also, many parts are overly detailed or awkwardly written, e.g. "Other methods include electro and sono portation; microparticles like gold are used in biolistic micro projectiles, AKA gene guns, while micro injection can be accomplished via needles" This sentence is a string of unexplained jargon that only confuses the reader further. There are a few other oddities in what you added back in, such as the assertion about "atheist conservative's health concerns"(sic) where you also included the {fact} tag questioning that statement.--TiaC (talk) 08:14, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes it's also not so much that the content you added is irrelevant, but that it doesn't fit at the place you inserted it in the article. Try making sure your additions don't screw up the flow of the article before adding them. (talk) 21:25, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I only included the history because that was seen as being useful for the anti vaccination article. The wording of the explanation of different methods is pretty terrible. I don't care about the joke part, I just thought fact was the warning that accompanied all jokes here, so no one gets confused which parts are refuting fiction and which parts are being fictitious; Poe's law and all. Exiled Encyclopedist (talk) 00:43, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Merge into GMO?[edit]

I'm getting the feeling that this thing ought to be merged into the GMO article. Humans are organisms, and GMO stands for genetically engineered organism. That, or maybe a merger with the CRISPR article? Something should be merged. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 09:30, 12 September 2016 (UTC)