Talk:Genetically modified food

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Fuck this, let's mongoose![edit]

If you search for "Gef", as in Gef the talking mongoose, you wind up here. Should there be some kind of cross-reference or hatnote at the top for people who actually want a talking mongoose? Or should Gef redirect to the mongoose rather than here? Or should there be a disambiguation page? What do you want when you type "Gef"? --Annanoon (talk) 20:48, 7 January 2019 (UTC)

@Annanoon God Enhanced Flavor? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 05:03, 8 January 2019 (UTC)

Study on attitudes on GMF[edit]

Basically, opponents of GMF greatly over-estimate their knowledge on the field. Really, just Dunning Kruger, but still worth incorporating in this article. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 05:46, 15 January 2019 (UTC)


Are there more recent figures than 'As of 2014...' Anna Livia (talk) 19:21, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

Updated, but with heavy reliance on ISAAA data, needs more citations. The Sqrt-1 talk stalk 05:19, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

§. “Inherently Bad”: Explication[edit]

I aim to explicate the text from this quote from the subsection titled “Inherently Bad” :

The most prevalent claim is that all GMFs are harmful to health and cause a variety of illnesses and disabilities: cancer, autism, reproductive problems […]

Caveats: (1) What will proceed is just a rough draft of some ideas I’ve had, which will, eventually, be edited into a more structured and readable piece. Explication is the most general method of engineering; explication isn’t explanation, description, or analysis. (2) the explication that I will provide is very charitable.

Step 1: Clarification[edit]

The principle aim of “clarification” is to provide a suitable explicandum. First, I shall clarify the sentence as best as I can, so that, in principle, some mutual agreement can be reached as to the intended form and meaning of the sentence. Moreover, this “clarification” will enable me to try and provide the best form of the sentence in ordinary language, which shall then serve as the explicandum, and after this, the sentence may be translated into predicate Logic and mathematics (viz. class theory).

  1. The word ‘all’ (in “All GMFs”) is a quantifier, which indicates quantification over a domain of objects.
  2. The conjunction of “Harmful to health” with “cause a variety of illnesses and disabilities” is a redundancy, since it seems that GMFs are being claimed to be “harmful to health” precisely because they “cause a variety of illnesses and disabilities.” Thus “harmful to health” is superfluous and can be dispensed with in favour of “…GMFs cause a variety of illnesses and disabilities”.
  3. “… cause a variety of illnesses and disabilities”. Unless the claimants are aware of the complexity of causal mechanisms, then it seems to be largely incoherent as to what they are claiming (hence my ongoing explication). Moreover whilst certain diseases such as cancer or reproductive problems (to name some of those quoted) can, at times, be readily identified, other conditions such as Autism are more complex phenomena, involving behavioural, psychological, as well as neurological and cognitive phenomena, and as a consequence it seems difficult to picture just what “causation” of autism would look like (if this is even the correct terminology).
  4. “[GMFs] cause a variety illnesses” presupposes that GMFs are capable of causing illnesses and disabilities; granted, this isn’t a problem as far as validity is concerned, but it doesn’t seem cogent …..
  5. “All GMFs are harmful” —this requires interpretation: do they mean all GMFs up to this point in time are harmful—surely they wouldn’t claim clairvoyance and say “all future GMFs are also harmful”—or, perhaps they are against them in principle. Suffice to say, a lot of this ambiguity can be removed, in the next stage, when the clarified sentence is translated into predicate Logic and class theory (more on this later).
  6. Based on these concerns a better construal might replace “All” with ‘some’ or ‘at least one’, thus: “Some\at least one\ GMF causes a variety of illnesses and disabilities”.
  7. In ordinary language, as a façon de parler, I would agree that “Some GMFs” is intelligible, but “some GMFs” is not to be confused with a thing for which the predicate ‘cause illness and disabilities’ is true of, for this would commit a category error. What is (or ought) to be claimed, rather, is that the predicate holds true for a particular subclass of the category of GMFs.
  8. Ultimately, ‘GMF’ denotes physical entities occupying slices of space-time (a quadruple of real numbers).
  9. Now the end-product of “Clarification” (n.b. This is the most general clarification):
(9i)‘All GMFs cause illness or disability’ is true—if and only if—the class of future GMF light-cones ‘â’, includes a subclass ‘ŷ’ whose members are illnesses or disabilities. In addition, one may add a well-ordering relation on both the classes such that ‘â’ is interpreted as ‘first’ and ‘ŷ’ as second; this in-turn could be explicated by way of equivalence classes such that ‘â’ is equivalent to the ordinal ‘1st’ and ‘ŷ’ to the ordinal ‘2nd’.
(9ii) Moreover, (9i) can be substituted into a conditional schema as a complex antecedent, which has as its consequent the statement “GMFs are inherently bad”. This is due to the use of “because” in the claim—“GMFs are inherently bad because they cause illnesses or disabilities”—, ‘because’ functions here as providing causes or reasons for the consequent, and thus ‘inherently bad’ shall be the consequent, and ‘cause illnesses or disabilities’ shall be the antecedent.
  1. Both 9(i) and 9(ii) need to be further modified if they are to serve as an explicandum. Since, a referential claim is being made about certain objects in the domain we need to modify (9i) and 9(ii) so as to produce a referential sentence (viz. a sentence that makes an existential claim); and since the locus of reference, in ordinary language, is found in the relative pronoun construction, 9(i) and 9(ii) shall be modified as follows:
  1. (9i’) There is an it such that it is the class of GMF light-cones, and it includes a subclass whose members are illnesses or disabilities.
  2. (9ii’) If (There is an it such that it is the class of GMF light-cones, and it includes a subclass whose members are illnesses or disabilities), then (all GMFs are inherently bad).
  • The consequent of (9ii) is a prescriptive claim, which means that it isn’t truth-functional (at least in the classical sense). However, I’ll bypass this issue by assuming that all humans hold the ultimate end (whether consciously or not) to survive, and to increase their welfare—I’ll include this assumption as part of the class of premises. Now, it follows that if a particular entity φ causes illnesses or disabilities, then this is in direct contradiction with human ends (as I’ve specified them), and as a consequence, we ought to avoid φ, and one may even say that ‘φ is bad for survival/for welfare/for me’ is true, and thus I shall proceed to treat a forteriori the consequent as truth-evaluable; this may be explicated further by taking this prescriptive claim to be about certain patterns of behaviour that have been influenced by the usual selection pressures and conscious decisions by rational agents.

Translation into FOL and Class theory[edit]

  1. First the use of the neuter-pronoun ‘it’ in (9i’) shall be translated as a class variable, which is signified by the symbol ‘x’, (where ‘x’, when bound, may take classes as its values).
  2. ‘There is’ shall be translated as the existential quantifier ‘∃’
  3. ‘is the class of GMF light cones’ is a predicate and shall be translated, since this is class theory, according to the abstraction schema viz. entities that satisfy this predicate-abstract have two things in common: (1) a property/attribute is intended to them e.g. ‘being a GMF’, and (2) they form a class of which they are members. The same holds for the other predicates in the explicandum viz. ‘includes a subclass whose members are illnesses or disabilities’, and ‘are inherently bad’.
  4. For purposes of individuation, identity criteria are needed (i.e. so we can identify GMFs, diseases, and disabilities): the axiom of extensionality, the indiscernibility of identicals, and the law of the substitutivity of identicals , shall be used for this purpose.
LeucippusSapere aude 00:45, 19 October 2021 (UTC)

Scientific Consensus[edit]

The way the precautionary principle is portrayed in this section is way off the mark. The issue in regard to GMO's is that we know that they can intentionally or accidentally be created with traits that cause great harm. They are potentially an existential threat if weaponized or the wrong one is released accidentally. Most other technologies that pose existential risks don't tend to reproduce and spread on their own in the natural world -- this is part of what makes the risks with GMOs greater than many other technologies and why a precautionary principle would advice stricter regulations on the research, development, and release into the broader environment. People may not think that GMOs should be regulated, or regulated more strictly, but there is an honest debate to be had in this regard -- even among people who are generally in favor of the development and deployment of genetically modified organisms. -- (talk) 09:14, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

There's is no doubt that the scientific consensus referred to in your heading is that GM crops are safe and useful.
On the precautionary principle the article states: "Additionally, anti-GMF activists use the precautionary principle argument which states that as there is negative proof of the harm of GE foods (i.e. there is no absolute, ultimate proof that GMF is safe), GMFs should be opposed.] Arguments of this nature are invalid, as any given technology cannot be proven to be safe in every possible imagined circumstance."
The suggestion that something should not be used until it has been proved to be safe even under circumstances which had not been imagined was exactly that which was used by the ant-vax crowd to stop life-saving vaccinations during the recent pandemic. Notwithstanding the fact that such vaccines actually had been proved to be safe before their release, the anti-vac community still insist that such vaccines are "experimental" and even now want to restrict their use.
Similarly, GM crops have been grown for something like the last 30 years (or vastly longer if you expand the definition) without the world-ending consequences some would still have us believe. Nevertheless, if you could come up with a more specific concern about current GM practice (and which is not already covered in the article) that would be interesting.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:14, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
The Precautionary Principle is not about banning everything that could have a negative consequence. It involves recognizing that different technologies pose different risks at different threat levels. A bow and arrow is unlikely to cause ecological collapse, for example -- while nuclear weapons poses a far greater risk and should thus be regulated more heavily or banned outright.
I think you're also mistaken about scientific consensus on the use of genetically modified organisms. No scientist who knows anything about the subject could simply claim "that GM crops are safe and useful." This is because it's easily conceivable that a GM crop could be harmful or destructive -- if it were intentionally or accidentally created to be harmful and destructive. Scientists could claim that most GM crops "studied and released so far* do or do not seem to pose certain risks, but that's very different than saying that all GM crops, or GMOs overall, are innately safe. Sweeping statements suggesting that GM crops are innately safe... confuses the public about the actual risks they could (or arguably do) pose to human health and/or the environment. -- (talk) 20:51, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
You write. "The Precautionary Principle is not about banning everything that could have a negative consequence. It involves recognizing that different technologies pose different risks at different threat levels" OK' let's see if that works.
One of the problems with the "Precautionary Principle" is that there are multiple versions and they they do not all draw you to the same conclusion, and all of them are pretty subjective.
I asked you before about, "a more specific concern about current GM practice (and which is not already covered in the article". I ask that again so that we could see if it is covered by your version of the PP.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:37, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
Like the precautionary principle, there are also different scientific methods, but those variations of the scientific method are largely similar and should not be wildly misrepresented by people who oppose them.
As for specific concerns to test with "my version" of the precautionary principle: I'd say the potential for GM Crops to be intentionally designed to be incredibly harmful is a concern not currently mentioned in the article. And the precautionary principle might, therefore, encourage things like... A.) stricter regulation, B.) harsher punishments for using the technology maliciously or recklessly, C.) Stricter control of technical details about the technology, or D.) potentially an outright ban on the use of the technology. Mind you, these measures wouldn't be suggested simply because the technology could pose risks or be abused but, rather, because the use and abuse of this particular technology could easily pose existential risks to life on Earth -- including continued human existence. Also keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to be concerned about the most extreme responses encouraged by the precautionary principle, like a total ban on the technology, but serious responses might indeed by recommended by proponents of the precautionary principle.
From a hypothetical perspective: Suppose there was a technology created that could extend human life expectancy by ten years. However, each year that this technology was employed it presented a 0.1% chance of ending life on Earth. That might seem like a reasonable risk to a techno-optimist. But a proponent of the Precautionary Principle would recognize that the overall long term risk of ending life on Earth would be reason enough to ban and restrict the spread of this technology to the greatest extent possible.
Or, consider a slightly different angle... You've heard about how scientists can use genetically engineered mosquitoes to devastate various mosquito populations? Now imagine if that technology became more accessible, affordable, and utilized by misanthropic groups and individuals. What happens if such groups or individuals used the same technology to do something similar to plankton, or wheat, or honeybees, or all at the same time? This isn't really hypothetical insofar as these types of outcomes are already technically possible -- but no one publicizes their interest in utilizing the technology in this way. And again... what we're talking about is the widespread destruction of life (on a global scale) with a shoestring budget of a few million dollars (for the price of, say, a well-equipped CRISPR lab). Few other technologies pose that type of risk for so little cost and end-user effort. And that's why modern genetic engineering technologies present greater and relatively unique risks. And that's why the precautionary principle would oppose this technology moreso than it would oppose other technologies with less destructive capability relative to their cost and the effort needed to utilize them. -- (talk) 05:56, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
So - you maintain that we do not give enough emphasis to the hypothetical risk of GM crops being "intentionally designed to be incredibly harmful".
OK, I guess some reasonably technically advanced state actor, or some well-financed terrorist non-state actor could possibly do such a thing - presumably under conditions of high secrecy. Do you have any evidence that this is an actual risk? Are you aware of any state or non-state actor planning this? Probably not because of the "secrecy" thing.
But why would they this? And how would their own agriculture avoid being damaged by their own weapon? Advanced nation states are not short of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of largely known potential - what would be the unique advantage of this one which would be out of their control; the moment they released it? And presuming it were a secretive state actor - how would your proposed controls stop the the development of their super GM doomsday weapon?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:40, 27 May 2024 (UTC)

GMO arent proved that they are safe[edit]

GMO arent proved that they are safe only we didnt find things at this moment! with our technology (but in future ?) but test length are too short so how u can compare with human life length to know if we will have a sick! SO be humble! you dont kow if its safe or not

so Precautionary principle, wait ! — Unsigned, by: 4humansocietysustainable / talk / contribs

genetically modified foods and other products are subject to some of most intense safety regulations by the FDA, and each product is tested for safety on it’s own. This is all done before going to market. This is reflected in the sources used by the article, so it’s redundant to post them here. As of current, meta-analyses find no increased risk for disease or other negative health outcomes when comparing genetically-modified food to non-modified food. If we applied this “precautionary principle” consistently in only stating what is safe is that which can be proven safe, I would argue that nothing is “safe” not even treated drinking water. “Safety” is not something that can be proved with certainty, is an intrinsically relative measure. As someone with a food allergy, I don’t share in what are the “safe foods” for others to eat. Almonds are safe for many, but they are not safe for me. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:26, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
Furthermore, precautionary principle is not one specifically-defined set of guidelines. It is something that can range from the reasonable to the ridiculous. Bongolian (talk) 22:59, 26 May 2024 (UTC)