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Feb 4, 2011 06:31 AM

GMO [split from Home Cooking]


what about GMO keeps you away?

  1. You can do your own research, but many people (including me) prefer not to put chemicals, artificial substances, processed foods or GMO foods in their bodies daily.

    Here is a well written article for a start, if you haven't read much about it: http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/S...

    15 Replies
    1. re: sedimental

      why is there an assumption of ignorance on my part when i ask you a question.

      you now list 4 very different things by way of explanation. you put chemicals in your body to survive. all food is chemicals. so that means little to me.

      i'm not sure what you mean by processed, as everything but raw food is processed.

      artificial? such as?

      but i'm asking you what is wrong with GMO as a whole class. e.g. corn used to be a small grained plant. over centuries we modified their genes, yet i assume you eat corn, and find it to be a not artificial unprocessed food.

      now i'm sure some GMO foods may well be harmful. many most likely are not.
      i think it is best to take this on an item by item basis, rather than replace science with faith based beliefs.

      1. re: thew

        Hi thew ... certainly everyone's view should be treated with respect here, no matter how much we may differ in our views!

        ... but I would point out there is a difference between cross pollination (which has been done for centuries) and genetic modification (which in the scheme of human life is a new science for which long term effects are not diffinitive).

        1. re: CocoTO

          but in both cases we are modifying the genetic structure of something, no?

          1. re: thew

            I believe there is a world of difference. On the one hand nature actively takes part in the modification process (and which IMO keeps in "natural") vs. an approach where DNA is added or removed to make plants behave in a way that nature didn't intend. That is why I am, at a bare minimum, strongly and firmly on the side of transparent labelling - that way until the science is more definitive, we can all exercise our right to choose what we put in and on our bodies.

            1. re: CocoTO

              1) nature does not INTEND anything. there is no one there to have intent.

              2) we are not separate from nature - if a beehive is natural, or a beaver dam, so are the things we create

              3) i agree with labeling - but i also understand the hesitancy to do so - in a world where people cannot distinguish between untested potential problems and proof of harm

              1. re: thew

                Indeed, mutations in nature are accidental. The beneficial ones survive. The fact that we can now do it in a lab doesn't make it more diabolical. Farmers and breeders have been cross-breeding crops and livestock for centuries. Even Larry Forgione's original and iconic "free-range" chickens started out with a lot of cross-breeding to achieve the desired qualities in the end product.

            2. re: thew

              by definition, gmos are organisms modified with genetic material *from another type of organism*-- there is no way for a trout to successfully reproduce with a tomato, or a stalk of corn, for example, but that is exactly what type of "crossing" is going on to produce patented gm organisms. this is obviously a different ball of wax than conventional hybrids, crossing, and selective breeding.

              1. re: soupkitten

                ok. but so what? where is the inherent problem with that?

          2. re: thew

            You asked what about GMO that keeps you away. I answered.

            1. re: sedimental

              no you didn't. you told me that i could do my own research, assumed i had no knowledge, and posted a link.

              1. re: thew

                Actually, I said that I am concerned with what goes in my body, and I prefer to not put certain things in my body on a daily basis (GMO is included). I *also* am concerned separately, with the GMO effects on the planet (the link details this).

                1. re: sedimental

                  ad i'm asking what about GMO as a general class, as opposed this or that specific GMO item, makes it something you do not want in your body?

                  i see a lot of buzzwords often, then seem pretty meaningless - to me. chemicals - what does that mean, as everything is chemicals. processed food? cooking is processing, so what does that mean? but those are separate question than what is wrong with GMO as a concept?

                  1. re: thew

                    As a general "I don't want it in my body" concept...it is genetically altered food by people that have no care or concern for me. This is about money and not health or altruism. It could have unintended consequences for heath problems and studies are showing problems already. I try not to eat things I think are a problem.

                    Food is too important to health to "monkey with". If anyone is to monkey with it- I'll do it myself *and* I want to know about it. I prefer food to be in it's purist form when I eat it or cook with it. I prefer it not to have chemicals in it or on it (pesticides, preservatives, food colorings, etc.). I don't buy much processed food and I don't eat alot of it on a daily basis. This is why I pass up 98 percent of the food on the grocery shelves.

                    I don't trust others to alter my food, then not tell me, then have me eat it.

                    1. re: sedimental

                      yes - monsanto wants to make money. as did the people who sold aspirin, anti-biotics, and everything else. that does not mean the invention of Penicillin had no value for saving lives because a pharmaceutical firm sees a way to profit from it. when i was 18 i wanted people to do the right thing for the right reason. at 50 i see enlightened self interest is probably the best i can hope for, so i want them to the right thing, whatever their reasons. So if the reason monsanto alieviates hunger in sub saharan africa is altrustic or profit driven, does not matter to me nearly as much as the development of foods to feed staving children in arid areas. if monsanto creates a crop that stop pesticides from leeching into the water table i do not care if they are doing for the bottom line,

                      and i am not saying it should be done without telling you. im all for extensive testing on a case by case basis.

                      i have yet to see one of these oft mentioned studies that shows all GMO are necessarily a health risk. if you show me one i will happily change my tune.

          3. re: sedimental

            Your linked article claims it is largely based on a book by Jeffrey M. Smith. Why should we trust him and his claims. From what saw in a few minutes of web search, he sounds like a one-man band operating out of a mail box address in small Iowa town. One source claimed he has no academic credentials, though he did teach swing dance professionally. I don't know if that is true, but I would like to see some evidence that he (and his followers) can follow the full range of scientific research. It is very easy to be selective, highlighting only the studies that support your position.

            The first quote in the article is from the 'American Academy of Environmental Medicine'. Who are they?
            They are not a recognized medical specialty

            And about those 41 footnotes - how many are independent citations? From what kinds of sources (besides Smith's book


            Near the end of the article is strong claim that GE was the cause of an epidemic associated with L-tryptophan, "The source of contaminants was almost certainly the genetic engineering process used in its production" citing a Smith source.
            Here's are different view of that case (from the largest food science professional organization)

          4. GMO foods including oils have been tested extensively on animals and proven to cause all kinds of nasty problems and that is only the tip of the iceberg. Try infertility, cancer, organ damage, weird diseases like Morgellons (google it). This is the reason why GMO foods are banned in Europe. Yes Banned! There are other places in the world that have a ban on GMO's too. We live in the USA where $$ over rules almost all reason, more and more it seems. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/art...

            11 Replies
            1. re: Taterbugruns

              Just commenting on this once:

              1. There is no scientific proof that GMO foods are dangerous (to the consumer). Please, cite an article from a reputable journal if you know otherwise. (One can say anything in book, movie or online.)

              2. Europe has a different approach in their system. Over here, it's "Prove this is dangerous." Over there, it's "Prove this is safe." Neither system is right/wrong and both have their merits. Saying that something is banned in x isn't a powerful argument. For example, I can say that cinnamon (cassia, the common kinds sold here) is banned in Germany.

              1. re: ediblover


                use common sense for goodness sake!! It is self explanatory,just take a few moments and think about it.


                this is just the tip of the iceberg, the corp food industry owns lots of scientists but it matters not because there is overwhelming evidence on GMO foods. And most people who take the time to really think about what a GMO food really is and how it reacts with the human body. Well it isn't complicated, it's obvious.

                1. re: Taterbugruns

                  my view of a site like mercola is as suspect as a site like monsanto on the other side of the argument. they are not unbiased in their viewpoint.

                  suspicion is not evidence. common sense is not science

                  1. re: Taterbugruns

                    I didn't realize that Mercola was a "reputable journal".

                    1. re: jgg13

                      This all boils down to "my guy with an agenda says this...." While the jury may still be out (there's no way to "prove" things as being safe) there's no reliable evidence of dangers, just a lot of fearmongering.

                  2. re: ediblover

                    given what's at stake, I for one prefer the European model ... prove to me it's safe. And I too believe there are some early troubling signs, not to mention the cross contamination impact that is occurring on other unintended plant life, both cultivated and in the wild. But my main objection to GMO advocates is that they actively lobby against the labeling of food stuffs to identify it as GMO produce ... why should I not be able to make my own choice easily ... if GMO is so safe, why not agree to label it as such?

                    1. re: CocoTO

                      i agree - label them. as to why not label them, this thread makes it clear - to some people fear is is enough so they would not buy the product carrying the label, regardless if it was actually safe or not

                      1. re: thew

                        so are you really advocating keeping the consumer in the dark because they might not buy the product if they knew what was in it? That is the worst reason for not having transparent labelling ... or did I misunderstand you?

                        1. re: CocoTO

                          you misunderstood me, as i clearly stated exactly the opposite: "i agree - label them..."

                    2. re: ediblover

                      there most definitely is scientific proof that GMO foods are harmful. this is my last comment on this subject. Go ahead and enjoy your GMO foods, have at it for goodness sake. I don't want anything to do with it and I know that more and more evidence of the harm caused by GMO foods is soon to come. There are many studies....I won't provide them for you if you care then go for it, if you don't???http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agricu...

                      1. re: Taterbugruns

                        the link you provide lists POTENTIAL risks from GMO foods. That is not the same as actual proven dangers. By all means test. test test test and test again. but because there is potential for danger is not the same thing as proof of harmfulness.

                  3. Nothing. Better living through science.

                    That said, Monsanto is an evil company

                    1. I used to work for an organic certification agency and have seen/heard many GMO horror stories. It totally changed the way I eat and grow food. These superb short videos are excellent educational tools on factory farming, sustainability, etc. Will try to locate actual GMO info that is staggering (having been to many international conferences). Also click on "Learn About the Issues" for brief info on pesticides, cloning, antibiotics, etc.


                      1. Nothing. It seems to be an anti-science view point to be against this. As shown above, if there was any real evidence of negative effects, you'd think it would be easy to point them out. It also seems to be anti-human too, because we could feed so many more starving people.

                        52 Replies
                        1. re: kwjd

                          My dad's death of cancer was linked by several oncologists to the GMO pesticide spray he used on the farm. That is enough proof for me!

                          1. re: chefathome

                            what exactly is a 'GMO pesticide spray'?

                            1. re: paulj

                              I'm assuming he's talking about stuff like Roundup. If so, I'm pretty skeptical about the claim, there are the usual "might", "could be", "linked to" but I'm not personally aware of anything hard enough such that MDs would actually tell a patient that it was the cause (and unless someone has something oddly specific, I'm usually skeptical of "this was the cause" claims in general)

                              1. re: paulj

                                Sorry about that - I was very unclear. I meant a pesticide spray for his GMO crops. If he had not planted GMO (or GE) crops he would not have used the spray. That really got me involved in the organic movement.

                                I can definitely see both sides, though; the world hunger thing really gets me, too.

                                Info on pesticides and GMOs...http://www.bewellbuzz.com/general/tru...

                                1. re: chefathome

                                  Couple of things:

                                  - He'd have been spraying pesticide either way, the genetic modifications are so that particular plant can withstand the 'cide.

                                  - The link you post doesn't really show any causal link between GMO and cancer, heck it even says "Comparative studies on the toxic residues in foods from such crops have not yet been done."

                                  I work in the cancer research field. I'm far from expert, and there are lots of things that I don't know on this topic. That said, I've never come across anything that really seemed remotely solid to me when it comes to GMO stuff.

                              2. re: chefathome

                                and if that is the case that pesticide should be banned. but to ban all GMO because of one product? it's like saying tobacco caused my dad's cancer so we should ban everything grown on a farm....

                                edit - because i did not see the follow up post.

                                that's even more ridiculous - he used a product that was NOT a GMO that gave him cancer, so it means GMOs are dangerous? another over the top analogy:
                                my mom was hit by a car while going to buy strawberries - so strawberries are dangerous.

                                1. re: thew

                                  The pesticide itself was non GMO but the fact remains he grew GMO crops which he sprayed. Had he been organic he would not have used the sprays (seeping through his skin, unfortunately). I know my logic sounds strange, I confess. I'm not saying to ban everything GMO at all. Although I do not agree with GMOs for all kinds of reasons I guess my stance would be to ban pesticides which has already been done in some countries. Sorry for not separating the GMO and pesticide issue; they can be linked but also separate.

                                  1. re: chefathome

                                    But he wasn't organic before starting use GMO crops, was he?

                                    Which type(s) of cancer is associated with absorption of chemicals through the skin?

                                    1. re: chefathome

                                      You know, there's an enormous middle ground between organic & GMO

                                      1. re: jgg13

                                        anyone who argues that there isn't proof, well there isn't proof that GMO are safe in fact the evidence weighs to the opposite. Can you feed GMO foods knowingly to your children without regret, even though there is no "proof" that they are safe. I can't and I won't. I try to grow as much of my own food as possible but that is a real luxury. I live in the fertile (and glorious) Willamette Valley of Oregon and I am lucky enough to have enough land to grow my own garden. Even if there is a decision not to label GMO, god forbid. My family will live on what we grow and the trade that we already do with local farmers that we know and trust. I won't let my daughter be a lab rat of sorts for Corporations that produce GMO foods, etc.

                                        1. re: Taterbugruns

                                          i don't want my son to be a lab rat for corporations either. but i also do not want children to starve in arid regions where my fear prevented development of a crop that could feed them.

                                          if we were debating whether or not research the internal combustion engine 150 years ago arguments like the unforeseen pollution, the number of traffic deaths, the use of airplanes for war,etc etc etc might well have had us all still in a world where 99% die within 10 miles of where they were born, in a world where the need for muscle power in agriculture almost ensure slavery or serfdom of some sort, where there was no food out of season, no exotic ingredients, no vacations to jamaica, and no ambulances or quick delivery of medicine.

                                          1. re: thew

                                            all I can say is good luck! I am don't agree with any of your arguments. I just hope your son doesn't come home one day and ask you why you would feed him something that made him infertile when you were aware it was completely banned on an entire continent and suspected (according to your argument) in the very least to be unsafe by millions upon millions of people and agencies, governments, scientists. What are you going to do then...give him that argument about how you were thinking of the world and how much of a better place it is thanks to GMO foods which are produced solely because they bring a higher margin to corporate food giants. They are not concerned about starving people, what a joke!

                                            1. re: Taterbugruns

                                              I hope you aren't serving your kids (particularly daughters) any beverages that were stored in plastic bottles ....

                                              Look, unless someone wants to be like the unabomber and live in a Montana shack, we can't avoid all potential pitfalls of modern times. Most of these things are overly hyped up, you can't live in fear.

                                              1. re: Taterbugruns

                                                How is his son going to know he's infertile, and that the cause was certain foods he ate at home? Who's going to tell him that?

                                                1. re: Taterbugruns

                                                  excuse me. i said that GMO foods need to be tested on a case by case basis, not that all of them should just be out there with no concern for consequence.

                                                  my point is that there may be harmful consequences or some, and benefit from others. thats the way of the world.

                                                  i have yet to see convincing scientific evidence that the very process of GMO absolutely causes harm. which is what you are claiming.

                                                  1. re: Taterbugruns

                                                    You know Taterbugruns, American's -as overweight, diabetic and sick as many are...epidemically- still line up for the McRib, still purchase cartloads of highly processed foods, Crisco still sells gallons. Meanwhile, our kids are acquiring allergies at epidemic proportions, attention deficit problems are increasing,etc.
                                                    But, for goodness sake....unless someone *proves* to me all this stuff is bad....let's not use any common sense. Some government "official" will need to ban it before they stop consuming it. It is a free country and a free choice (thank goodness). So, It is probably best to just inform and educate. Argument doesn't do anything.

                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                      yes I know, I didn't start out arguing, only responded to the arguments of others, where I live, I don't personally know anyone who buys crisco, or eats McRibs. We shop at farmers markets as much as possible and buy NON- GMO products or grow our own, give it another five years, GMO will be banned in the USA as well, I guarantee it. Things are changing fast!
                                                      If you feel good about eating GMO, for goodness sakes...go FOR IT!!! But I will NOT!!!

                                                      1. re: Taterbugruns

                                                        Oh, I know. These threads can quickly turn into weird little "quasi-scientific" debates by non scientists with bits and pieces of accurate information. Then they are locked!!! LOL
                                                        As far as GMO- I believe the risk is not worth any potential reward and we have such a strong history for screwing up our food chain. It seems like we never learn from our mistakes - and there are so many mistakes!
                                                        We all vote with our feet and our dollars matter.

                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                          "by non scientists"

                                                          Some people in this thread actually work in science labs, just sayin'

                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                            Yes, I used to as well. Now, my 20 year old daughter works in a lab too. She feeds mice drugs and records how stoned they get. Working in a lab isn't relative. She wouldn't have much to add to this conversation.
                                                            If there is a GMO researcher here- it would be great to hear from them on this topic. But Chowhound is a foodie site, not a scientific networking site. That was my point.

                                                          2. re: sedimental

                                                            I agree with your summary. re: sedimental

                                                        2. re: sedimental

                                                          I asked this question of Taterbugruns, but they did not reply. If you'er so up about this stuff, are you allowing your children to consume beverages that were packaged in plastic containers?

                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                            i thought that plastic bottle thing was an urban myth. or are you trying to make a point here? '-)

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              If there is a point- I would like to know what it is ;)

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                It ain't a myth. Plastic and xenoestrogens are real, it caused problems with estrogen based breast cancer research not too many years ago - for instance, look at PMID 16882715. I know from first hand knowledge that they had to switch to using glass from plastic as the latter was throwing off results.

                                                                Now, what long term effects does this imply for humans? That's much more up in the air, just like all the other stuff that sedimental & crew are on about.

                                                                The reality is that if someone is afraid of something potentially having a negative effect on the human body, one can always find *something* to defend their cause (for instance, read up on the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide (http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html)

                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                  why are you changing the subject, we are talking about GMO's here?? Start a new thread on Plastics and NO we do not drink from plastic, we have 5 stage reverse osmosis water system. Now, get back to the subject at hand or start a new thread. I mean it really comes off like some of you just want to pointlessly argue?? Are you just bored or angry? I mean come on....

                                                                  1. re: Taterbugruns

                                                                    I made my point in my last paragraph. People who are whining about GMO being potentially unsafe despite no hard evidence to the contrary are no different than people whining about all sorts of other things being potentially unsafe.

                                                                    As I noted, people can find bits and pieces for just about anything being potentially unsafe. Until someone can show a *real* causal link for something, they're just being jackwagons.

                                                                  2. re: jgg13

                                                                    Good information jgg13.
                                                                    Even more reason to try to eat unaltered, whole foods and process them yourself as much as possible. I am sure there are many harmful things the general public will find out about next year, and the year after that, etc.

                                                                    The only hedge against this is try to be a food purist as much as possible and everything in moderation. If you do that, you won't be at the whim (or mercy) of corporations or governments telling you what they think you need to hear.

                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                      How do you protect yourself from the whim of what NGOs and activists of every strip think you need to hear? Just because a group (or web site) bills itself as a consumer protection group and has no corporate or government funding, does that mean that their claims about GMOs are correct?

                                                                      Pure motives don't always result in accurate results. It can be even worse if the group has hidden motives. The supposed link between vaccines and autism, pushed by some vocal non-government groups, was recently shown to be based on fraudulent research by a UK doctor in the pay of lawyers seeking sue pharmaceuticals.

                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                        You protect yourself by eating foods that are as unaltered as possible. You cook instead of eating at restaurants all the time. You shop smartly at places that honor labeling and support informed consumers. You eat things in moderation and pay closer attention to your daily foods than your occasional foods. Those would be the minimum things anyone could do.

                                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                                          The 'unaltered as possible' idea may be fine as general philosophy of life, but I don't it can be shown to give the longest life.

                                                                          Nixtamalization of corn is one form of processing that proved to be beneficial a century ago. How should governments (or health organizations) address localized iodine deficiencies without some sort of food alteration or addition?
                                                                          You, as a relatively wealthy American, probably can eat a diverse and nutritious diet with a minimum of 'altered' foods, but that isn't necessarily the case world wide.

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            You asked how you could protect yourself from incorrect claims. I answered with my opinion. Maybe we should stay on topic (GMO) before they just shut the thread down because people are arguing for nothing.

                                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                                          To take it a step further when questioning one's sources - that autism thing led to a *massive* war on wikipedia, where the vaccine-autism supporters kept screwing around with the system. It even led to massive IP block bans (in some cases whole ISPs were blocked for short periods of time). A coworker of mine was one of the vigilantes trying to defend wikipedia in their wake, it was truly fascinating.

                                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                                            fascinating i'm sure, but nothing to do with the topic, or the site (food).

                                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                                              It certainly *does* have something to do with the topic - as sedimental started posting dubious links to support their position. Paulj pointed out that one shouldn't always trust the motives of groups behind these random links to be pure & unbiased.

                                                                              Further, there's a strong analogy (IMO) between the anti-vaccine crowd and the anti-GMO crowd, and their tactics are similar. Showing how the former managed to hoodwinked otherwise reasonable people might help followers of the latter group to see the light.

                                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                                I posted one link and it is not "dubious" at all. It sites all kinds of research on this topic ( 41 notations) for anyone to go look up the articles, books, journal publications, etc from all over the world - for themselves. You are just being argumentative for no reason now.
                                                                                If you believe that one should not do any research for themselves and just eat whatever is in front of them..."let the chips fall where they may"...then fine. It is a valid stance. Some folks eat daily at McDonalds and validate that for themselves. Point taken.

                                                                                But, I don't understand why you are on this thread, posting things about research and health issues then. You sound like you don't care one way or the other - the chips will fall. Why do you care, that other people "really do care" more about this issue than you? Do you have anything of value to add to the discussion other than to tell them they shouldn't care and just let the chips fall?

                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                  I do care because people who go around spouting half cocked theories and potential mistruths can have a negative impact on the world around them that's far worse than whatever cause they're fighting against. I apologize for touching on the autism thing again - but consider the possible outcome where people cease vaccinating their children and imagine what that'd do to our society.

                                                                                  As I just said to soupkitten, I'm willing to have my mind changed. Point me to real journal articles that cite statistically sound causal (nor correlative) evidence of harm in humans, I'll pull the articles & read them. If all that can be provided are studies in mice or in vitro and correlative studies, well - that's no better than most of the other scare junk out there.

                                                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                                                    Well, half cocked theories, as always, are in the eye of the beholder. We have all believed "solid research" from respected sources- for years -that only turned out to be completely wrong! I mean *completely* wrong. Medical and food research is especially suspect and has an especially poor track record.

                                                                                    I don't believe *for a minute* that YOU (or anyone) somehow can corner the market on "truthful" research or can tell what is half cocked. If you can- you will be the first person in history that has been able to do that. But you are entitled to your opinion that it is half cocked. This is why "scientific proof" has nothing to do with the actual safety of things in medicine or food.

                                                                                    In my opinion, common sense, moderation, philosophy of purity of the food chain and supply is much more important.

                                                                                    It is not my intention in this thread to change anyones mind. I look to threads like these to inform me and inspire me....not to use it for quasi-scientific debate. I truly have no desire to change your mind about anything. I hope more people will post links or share information about GE and GMO issues here. We can all make up our own minds.

                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                      Like I said, feel free to post articles from actual, scientific, peer reviewed journals detailing causal links to deleterious effects for humans in a sound, statistical manner. Once again I make no claim that said articles do not exist, simply that I've yet to see one, particularly in this thread.

                                                                                      And yes, you're correct - the track record is poor. Perhaps it is observation bias on my part but in my experience the "oops! sorry guys, we were wrong!" as it applies to food & other things that we ingest mainly come from the sky is falling crowd who claim that XYZ is harmful and must be avoided (random and admittedly anecdotal example: saccharin)

                                                                                  2. re: sedimental

                                                                                    You cite to an article with a biased agenda, No more or less biased than those in favor of GMO's, perhaps, but still biased. The fact that it cites 41 sources is meaningless if they're not accurately reflected in the article. That's why "peer review" is important because you can't just pick and choose sources and draw conclusions. You need similarly-qualified experts to evaluate whether what you're saying is accurate.

                                                                                  3. re: jgg13

                                                                                    if you want people to "see the light," you may want to give actual evidence, rather than making vague statements and trying to change the subject at every opportunity. talking about some mommies who were misled about the possible causes of their own kids' condition/disabilities is not only a really cheap shot, it just confuses the current discussion. why not try to keep a level-headed conversation going, instead of going with this emotional hot button tactic of yours?

                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                      As I stated earlier in the thread, it's impossible to prove something to be 100% safe or any other absolute - one would have to control for every single possible input and particularly with a science as dirty as biology that's just not feasible for anyone.

                                                                                      The onus is on people who want to show something is unsafe. Show it, prove it, provide peer reviewed research with strong p-values that demonstrate a causal (not correlative) link between GMO food and harm to humans. If it exists, that's cool, I'm willing to have my mind changed.

                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                        I'll need to revist this on monday when i can access more journals, but I just did a quick scan on pubmed looking at GMO safety studies. The one that was both a) interesting and b) accessible to me at this point was:

                                                                                        The takeaway is that we don't really know. Monsanto showed no problems in their study, but Monsanto is also an evil company who would be willing to screw us - yet there's not really any independent voice showing problems either. I think that's a fair statement.

                                                                            2. re: sedimental

                                                                              Eating "unaltered, whole foods" doesn't even grant you a guaranteed bill of health. I agree with the "everything in moderation", but beyond that, I don't much agree. Everything causes cancer & body decay. The few moments I spent typing this message help push me towards cancer.

                                                                              For every "potentially harmful" vector one worries about, there are thousands of others - one of the reasons I brought up the plastic was to show that there are always going to be things one never realizes nor thinks about. Just live life and let the chips fall as they may.

                                                                        3. re: jgg13

                                                                          My children are grown now. I never bought them drinks in plastic when they were at home (1980's to 1990's), but that was for recycling reasons. I am not sure why you think I know something about plastic bottles, I really don't know much about that.

                                                                    2. re: thew

                                                                      " i also do not want children to starve in arid regions where my fear prevented development of a crop that could feed them."

                                                                      Thew, what;'s your evidence that Monsanto's GMO are actually alleviating world hunger?

                                                                      I know they are working on making seeds which are sterile, so farmers will not be able to save seed year to year, but instead will have to buy new seeds each year. This seems just the opposite of any kind of solution to the hunger crisis.

                                                                      For someone who is so skeptical, you seem remarkably credulous about Monsanto's claims about the benign effects of its products. What's your argument, analysis, proof, or even factual justification that the invention of GMOs feeds more people more nutritious food and/or decreases deaths from malnutrition/starvation?

                                                                      1. re: femmevox

                                                                        i've said before i'm not a big fan of monsanto. but monsanto is not the whole of GMO technology.

                                                                        when i was young i wanted people to do the right thing for the right reason. now i want them to do the right thing, and i care less about why. it will be the profit motive that makes companies go green, move to space, or feed the starving. i'm ok with that.

                                                                    3. re: Taterbugruns

                                                                      It's a hell of a lot easier to prove the negative claim than the positive - for the former you only need to find one chink in the armor, while for the latter you need to show for every single input, the system performs as expected. For something like "is GMO food safe", that's nigh on impossible and a stupid requirement.

                                                                  3. re: chefathome

                                                                    not only are they not linked - one of the greatest promises of GMO will be plants that need less pesticide to survive

                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                      "round up, tm," specifically, has been shown to double the incidence of cancer, not only in agricultural workers, but rural residents generally. so it's linked.

                                                                      gmos are commonly bred to produce their own toxic pesticides (BT), first of all. . . so just because in some cases there is less pesticide *applied* to a gmo crop does not mean that there is less pesticide involved with gmo farming. various unforseen consequences can emerge, for example colony collapse (honeybee decline).

                                                                      as to the "promise" of gmo crops, the only "promise" they've really come thru on is the promise to make their ceos and shareholders boatloads of money. gmo crops have a high rate of total failure, especially in changing climate conditions. there is a problem with advocating gmo crops in third world countries-- crop failure, small farmer debt, the fact that farmers do not own the crops they grow-- all of these have led to economic, environmental, and humanitarian catastrophes, such as the over 200,000 indian farmers who have committed suicide over debts from buying gmo seed, the required purchases of specialized pesticides and other ag inputs, and then the resulting gmo crop failures. the article that follows is quite long but you don't want to miss the charts and study analysis toward the end:


                                                                      sustainable agriculture has proven itself to be the best, most productive (not by just a little, by 80% better yields than conventional), most profitable for the average farmer, model for third world nations-- not giant corporate owned fields of gmos, united states style. sustainable methods also require less ag inputs and critically, less water, than gmo production. if you are concerned about feeding the world and protecting the environment, might want to look at the real global picture of gmos vs sustainable ag.


                                                                      in the meantime, gmo foods should be labeled in the marketplace. european consumers have voted with their wallets, and overwhelmingly against gmos. surveys have shown that american consumers (85%-95%) want labeling so that they can make their own choices on gmo consumption.

                                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                                        i agree with much of what you say. by all means label. but the fact that europeans, without any hard scientific proof chose something based on fear is not scientific evidence. it is marketing evidence.

                                                                        if a plant produces pesticides (as many do) then fewer harmful chemicals are washing into our water supply

                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                          "if a plant produces pesticides (as many do) then fewer harmful chemicals are washing into our water supply"

                                                                          unfortunately, that's not true at all. gmo crops *increase* pesticide use. roundup ready gmo crops have begat the famous roundup resistant "super weeds" and pesticide resistant insects which require progressively more and more pesticide and herbicide applications.


                                                                          again, if harmful toxins in the water supply is your concern, gmos are exacerbating the problem. organic and/or sustainable farming methods are better agricultural models for water stewardship.