Genetic engineering: The world’s greatest scam?

Genetic engineering is a threat to food security, especially in a changing climate. The introduction of genetically manipulated organisms by choice or by accident grossly undermines sustainable agriculture and in so doing, severely limits the choice of food we can eat.

Once GE plants are released into the environment, they are out of control. If anything goes wrong – they are impossible to recall.

GE contamination threatens biodiversity respected as the global heritage of humankind, and one of our world’s fundamental keys to survival.

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9 Responses to "Genetic engineering: The world’s greatest scam?"

  1. Paul Lynch  January 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    0:35 — Please tell me you’re kidding! I mean, Jesus Christ! 1. Of course, they’re cultivated outdoors. They’re plants. 2. They actually can be controlled. We’ve been controlling them outdoors for 25,000 years! Where do you get your information from, Jenny McCarthy? Good God!!

    Reply
    • Keith Houle  February 1, 2013 at 1:23 am

      Paul,..perhaps you should take your own advice do some “research” before spouting a knee jerk rant. The evidence shows us that GM foods cannot be contained or controlled. Can you control the wind? Can you control animals eating the seeds and pooing them out? No,..its impossible. Can you control a hurricane or a twister? Geese alone spread GM Canola hundreds of miles away. The whole risk with cultivating Gm plants “outside” is that they infect natural crops with their genetic makeup. If the genomes prove to be harmfull,..as in BT toxins ,..Bt corn and many others,..including potatoes.-all proven to be harmful to humans and to cause cause havoc in the environment by breeding superbugs (google U.S. GM Corn problem and find out for yourself) The Genie has left the bottle , hasn’t it? How do you put it back? You can’t. Maybe read the latest French study on Gm foods. It proves,..without a doubt,..that certain GM foods are actually genetic poisons and harmful to human health. Or do you think that a team of PHD’s in genetics and biology are getting their advice from “Jenny Mcarthy”? Where are you getting your advice from?

  2. Paul Lynch  February 1, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Okay, let me get this out of the way: No, I don’t think that group of Ph.D.’s get their advice from Jenny McCarthy. They seem to have been taking their advice from the groups of Ph.D.’s Jenny McCarthy’s firm is lobbying to. Their control group was half the size of their experimental groups and even then they still had to dishonestly redact their data to make it look like it was possible for pesticide producing plants to make it easier for some toxin-producing pest to invade crop fields by killing the current common pests and freeing up the niche all because they noticed that in Germany some crop infestation occurred shortly after GM crop adoption, because apparently infestations never occur spontaneously, there aren’t 10 other factors that could affect the success of any pest, correlation always implies causation and they saw a nugget of lead and were hoping to turn it into a mountain of gold.

    As for the beginning of the video — the part you were criticizing my criticisms of — seeds don’t spread through wind and jetstreams as though they’re some kind of bukkake shower of successful zygotes ready to start chomping away the moment they hit the ground. Seeds have a success rate of producing fertile new plants that is so far below 0.1% that they’ve specifically naturally evolved to produce hundreds of thousands of them per year simply to counteract the odds.

    Genomes cannot “infect” other genomes. They can only end up in the same habitat at which point they can only compete with each other and if you want to then say that nature would then select the apparently more successful genetically modified crop, then we’ve got two problems: 1. Nature can’t select on the crops, because the farmers are already doing that and they’re capable of modifying their crops’ genomes at a much faster rate than natural selection could ever accomplish. 2. Farmers can’t use the same crop field for more than 2 seasons in a row. So, if a crop field does inadvertently receive seed from a neighboring GMO field, the only field they’re in will run out of nutrients long before the contaminating genome can gain a population penetration high enough to immunize it from getting deleted out of the population by genetic drift.

    The third point in this video is blatant projection. The fourth point is classic conspiracy theorizing. The fifth point is criticizing deforestation — which I would applaud them for — and then distracting away from this fact with entirely incoherent hypothesizing — “*if* the plants produce toxic gases” and even then we still have problems — hoping that no one will notice. The sixth point is a complete digression making an effort to gain followers to veganism. The seventh point has probably the smallest kernel of truth I’ve ever seen. That kernel being that we don’t know everything, though we know quite a bit. Studies in this are have been steadily coming in for more than 15 years now.

    The only coherent claim in this video that I could see is their complaint about Monsanto not having enough competition. I can understand that. I’d like to see more firms studying genetic engineering so Monsanto has competition, but this video hasn’t made a single coherent thought as to why its writers are against genetically modified crops.

    Reply
    • Wildflower  April 25, 2013 at 3:51 am

      Most GMOs contain terminator genes and are unable to reproduce, so the concern isn’t about seeds escaping into neighboring fields or the wild. That’s unlikely to happen, and if it did, and the plants probably wouldn’t survive long enough to reproduce (that’s assming they’re actually able to reproduce) without Monsanto’s pesticides and herbicides.

      The problem is pollen. Corn is pollenated by wind, and other crops are pollenated by insects. The most common GMO crops, corn, soy, wheat, rape (canola), cotton, papaya, crookneck and zuchini squash, are all botanically fruits or seeds. Most people don’t think of corn, wheat, soybeans, and cotton as fruits, and nutritionally they’re not considered fruits, but botanically they are fruits because they contain seeds. In order for a plant to make fruit and seeds, it has to be pollenated. The resulting seeds don’t have to be able to in turn reproduce to produce a crop.

      When pollen from a GMO field is carried by wind or insects onto a neighboring field of non-GMO crops, it creates problems for the non-GMO farmer. If the non-GMO farmer is growing non-hybrid crops (not all non-GMOs are non-hybrids), chances are they are going to want to save some of the seeds to plant next year. If the non-hybrid crops are pollenated by GMO crops, the next generation is going to be a GMO hybrid, if the seeds grow at all. So basically the seeds from the non-hybrid crop become useless to the farmer, and the farmer has to buy new non-hybrid seeds for next year, which costs the farmer a significant amount of money. On top of that, they run the risk of being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement if they unknowingly grow seeds that were pollenated by neighboring GMO crops. That’s why GMOs are a recipe for disaster for non-hybrid crop farmers.

      I may not have a Ph.D., but I do have a degree in Horticulture, so I think I know something about plant reproduction and genetics.

  3. Marina de Boer  February 1, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Looking forward to Keith´s reply and wondering how it is possible that the Paul Lynch´s of this world, i.e. apparently educated and informed people, can have these opinions. What are they insinuating? what interests could Greenpeace have other than telling us to keep our eyes open and beware for our own safety? Surely they agree that Monsanto has other interests than just our safety.

    Reply
  4. Boyce  February 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    ignorance is a sure way to for a man to lead himself into fire, worse is a man who is proudly of his knowledge unaware that his wisdom is actually foolishness.

    Reply
  5. Ardy  June 23, 2013 at 8:45 am

    For all you highly educated people that seem to know all about this………..explain it to the farmer in Oregon that ended up with a field of wheat that was contaminated GMO plants that have not been approved yet and all the farmers that lost their Japanese market because they don’t want that crap!!! If you need hazmat gear to spray the chemicals on the outside of the plants what the heck makes you think it is ok to eat a plant with the chemical in ever single cell in the plant??? If an insecticide kills a bug that ingests small amounts of a plant by destroying it’s guts what makes you think it won’t do the same to anything else that eats large amounts of it??? In order to splice this foreign DNA into these plants they have to introduce a virus or a bacteria to weaken the cells natural defenses……and this also becomes a part of the plant…….so we are not only getting pesticides and herbicides in our produce we also get viruses and bacteria. Why would anyone think that would produce a more healthy product!!! Monsanto has not created one single product in it’s 100 year history that has not been banned after a few years of poisoning the public. So why would you EVER believe that they would come up with something that was going to make the world a better place????? Most of the countries around the globe with the exception of the US is passing laws to outlaw this stuff…….do you think they are just ignorant fools?? I think not. By the way Monsanto and the White House serve organic food in their cafeterias so if the stuff is so great why don’t they eat it???

    Reply

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