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Interesting article on Genetically modified food...
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tomatolord    Posted 02-19-2001 at 07:35:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The article was on the Texas professor Norman Borlaug who won a nobel prize for creating strain of wheat that was lower to the ground so it would not fall over in heavy rains...The full article is below.

Anyway he saved india and pakistan from starving to death.

Norman was asked about genetically modified foods.

His response, which I will now use in my pro GM food arguments was basically this.

Everday you take risks, you have to weigh the risk vs the benefits and then make a decision.

I am pro GM becuase it means less chemicals into the environment, less chemicals on the food that I am eating etc

I think norm is right...you take a risk by getting in your car but that risk is acceptable to you.

Just my two cents


Tom A    Posted 02-20-2001 at 04:21:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
ok, Tomatolord, thanks for the info.

I guess I am one of the 'naysayers' they disparage in the article.

My view is based on the risk involved with GMO--we simply do not know enough yet about the consequences of this very new technology to be releasing it into the environment. There have been case-after-case of new technology being released into the world prematurely, opening a Pandora's box forever and causing irreparable harm in the process (many of the insecticides you're against fall into that category...DDT was an early one.).

Until we know more about GMO--long term studies of their impacts--then we should not be risking using them in open air. In risk management, you look both at the probability that a bad outcome will occur and also at the impact that it will have *if* it happens. Right now, GMO advocates say that there is little/no risk of anything bad happening. I'm not sure we're experienced enough with GMO's to make that call for certain, but even if you believe *that*, then surely the horrendous possible impact *if* something unforseen happens (no matter how improbable) argues strongly for a "go slow" approach.

Otherwise, we'll wind up with another case of over-zealous scientists backed by greedy businesses pushing dangerous products on us and we finding out 20 or 30 years later that this safe product causes cancer or birth defects or some new 'weed' that can't be killed or...


tomatolord    Posted 02-20-2001 at 06:53:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The DDT example is a poor one. The amount of research that goes on now is unbelievable. The days of a DDT type chemical being released are IMHO past. One ddt type chemical would bankrupt any of these large companies


Especially in crops and human research.

My brother is in pharmeucital research and the amount of testing that something goes through is unbelievable before it gets to humans.

Now the question is should GMO be FDA approved?

When there are people starving or are disease prone NOW.

That is the part about acceptable risk. If you are sitting there with the choice of a disease or no disease which would you pick?

I live on a lake with lots of woodland around it...I will not grow squash because you have to dose it with sevin to keep the borers out (i have tried everything except the row covers). If they had a GMO squash that I could plant that killed the borers off I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Heres the scenario...

One hand no GMO but you have to douse everything in sevin to keep the borers off..(beleive I talked to alot of commercial pumpkin growers and that is what they do)So sevin is being put into the ground water supply

OR

a GMO that alters a gene that kills off the borers...

Pick your poison.

Me I pick the GMO - after talking with my brother about this in length...



geo in MI    Posted 02-19-2001 at 20:15:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
How does he, or you, feel about the terminator gene?


Tom A    Posted 02-21-2001 at 04:18:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
"FEN-FEN" the diet drug is a very recent example off the top of my head--was FDA approved for use in humans, all the testing anybody thought was needed, and yet here it has caused many cases of severe health problems and deaths right here in the U.S. I agree, nobody releases this stuff believing it will harm anyone--the makers and the FDA all believed it was safe when the approved and marketed it, and the Doctors when they prescribe it. But they simply did not know, despite several years of testing.

No, in spite what some may say, our current science is *not* all-knowing. And the consequences of a problem with GMOs are not simply 'a few' people sick or dying, but potentially large portions of the world's population...people who never heard of GMOs, much less chose to use them. That is how I define unacceptable risk. The propaganda machines of the multi-national corporations and the government agencies who stand to benefit from this is what is driving the matter, not any real need...though I admit there are a lot of well-meaning folks who see the potential/promised benefits and ignore or minimize the great unknowns involved here.

Very long-term studies are needed before any of this stuff is used in the open (I believe that includes terminator or any other GMO). Right now, "we don't know what we don't know"


tomatolord    Posted 02-21-2001 at 07:44:08       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Ok lets take fen-fen

You are morbidly obese and have tried other methods...

do you

A - Die of obesity
B - take fen-fen in the hopes that you avoid the other symptoms?

HMMMMMMMM....death or maybe the avoidance of death

The fen-fen issue was that taken TOGETHER they provided for weight loss.

The drugs were individually passed by the FDA THEN drug interaction issue became the problem

The problem is that people that were not obese were taking the drug becuase it was easy, but then the risks outran the benefits - maybe a ruined heart for 20 pounds weight loss (and still people thought it was worth the risk!!)

People have died from eating grapefruits and certain medicines...you do not hear the cry to ban all grapefruits or to have grapefruits FDA approved do you?

Again it is a matter of risk.

Here in the U.S. we have the ability to not buy GMO if we dont need to.

However the golden grain foods will save millions of lives.

again

Death now
or
Chance at life with maybe some other issues down the road

You pick...

The local "healthfood" store still sells food that is not "organically" grown becuase for some food types the organic version is so high in cost no will buy it

The article is all about risks. GMO foods have a risk associated with them so do other foods, like grapefruits..



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