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View Diary: First long-term study reveals massive tumors in rats fed GMOs (83 comments)

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  •  Scrambling sounds scary (3+ / 0-)
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    terrypinder, G2geek, Roadbed Guy

    But its really not.  Obviously the radioactivity is not going to be carried over from the organism you mutated in the first place.

    More importantly, by using this technique, you're really only drawing from genes already available to the plant.  Grapefruits are not poisonous to us, we know that.  Trying to introduce random mutations within the grapefruit genome to, say, increase juice yield is not going to suddenly make them poisonous.

    On the other hand, a reasonable arguement can be made that whenever we introduce an external gene (like this Roundup-ready business, for instance), a lot more research needs to be done, because we were not already eating that protein / gene product.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

    by Brian A on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 11:32:55 AM PDT

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    •  Objections to GMO made by more modern (3+ / 0-)
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      terrypinder, Brian A, G2geek

      "engineering" methods include the truncation/interruption of proteins (e.g., where the transgene is inserted, even though that can easily be tested for . . .).

      So, although that's not really a concern when external genes are introduced, it is potentially a major concern when the genome is scrambled.  Who knows how proteins are recombined, and what new structures come out that could be immunogenic?

      How do you think the Ruby Red grapefruit became "Ruby Red" when derived by this technique?  Most likely by up-regulating the production of a red dye or perhaps by synthesizing an entirely new red molecule - which very well COULD be toxic.  The larger point is that plants make many, many toxic molecules and the massive genetic scrambling no doubt facilitates this (in fact, if you read the blog I linked to, they essentially are making the point that they are speeding up tens of thousands of years of evolution into an instant - thus instead of slowly evolving these new chemicals over eons, when presumably animals that ate them could co-evolve resistance, they're doing so instantly).

      Overall, I agree with your point that none of this is particularly dangerous.  However, the anti-GM types really have no standing to argue that in one case this technology is super dangerous when a closely related version passes by without objection. The rank hypocrisy of the stangest sort.  Or, at least a quite strange sort.

      •  though, i would argue that... (1+ / 0-)
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        Brian A

        ... genetically engineered foods should be subject to at least a minimum standard of in-vivo testing to ascertain if there are unforeseen effects: health effects from eating them, potential ecosystem effects such as on the pest ecosystems and on other crops, and so on.

        "Born safe" doesn't cut it.  And "natural" doesn't mean "safe" either, as we're discovering with cases such as "natural" arsenic taken up by "natural" rice and concentrated to levels that may have risks.  

        There was a time when people could be reasonably sure that regulatory agencies were looking out for food safety.  Today with the prevalence of e-coli and salmonella outbreaks, antibiotic resistance via antibiotic misuse/abuse in factory farming, and so on, the general impression is "you're on your own, bub."  THAT more than anything else, leads to the heightened suspicion over items such as GMOs, even GMOs that are already well-known to be health-safe and eco-safe.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:33:30 PM PDT

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        •  Testing is fine, I suppose, if it is applied (1+ / 0-)
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          Brian A

          with equal vigor to all new crops (and for that matter, any new source of foodstuffs - for example, when those 10,000 year old wooly mammoths were found in the melting ice and somebody decided to eat some, was THAT adequately tested in advance?).

          But according to this diary, testing DOES have it's limits - as according to the study in question, the authors were essentially not able to find any chemical differences in the foods that wer tested - which would seem to indicate that then GMO-derived stuff should be safe . . .

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