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Tell me about GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)
From an ethics/environment perspective


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#1 Snot stew

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

Hi original.gif

I have a pretty good understanding of the practicalities of GMO, ie how they are created etc (not indepth, but I know the basics).

Can you tell me about it from an ethics/environmental perspective?  I'd love to hear your views.

Thanks!!



#2 Mitis angelam

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:58 AM

I did a science degree with a genetics major, so that's my background.

In theory, I have no issue with GMO.  I see it as part of the answer to food production for a growing population, since modifications can make plants more salt tolerant, drought tolerant, all of that.  

I do take issue with the practises of companies like Monsanto, who exploit the needs of others to make themselves rich.

So for me the issues are about how you use GMO, but I have no issue with them existing and I would like to see them further developed and used better.

#3 R2D2

Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:14 PM

As you know, GM is just another tool in the suite of technologies used to improve crop yield, nutritional content, reduced susceptibility to poor climate and pests.

Agree  that it is the commercial tactics of the bug guys that often attract the bad press, but playing devil's advocate, they have to make a profit.

Put it this way, would you rather eat non GM corn that had to be sprayed 3 times during growing to prevent pests, or GM corn that had to onlyl be sprayed once?

NZ is seeing its scientists have to leave overseas to run trials because of its anti-GM stance.

Aust and NZ have a long history of high quality agri-tech including crop and livestock selection and improvement through other more traditional methods, GM just adds another tool.

THere are some great GM projects in Australia like the researchers in Queensland who are trying to boost the nutrients of bananas for african countries where there is severe malnutrition across populations where bananas make up 90% of people's diet.

Would be good if the big guys could be more supportive of GM projects to assist the third world.

I think the food/fuel issue (especially in the states) is a much bigger issue where foodstocks are diverted to biofuel, and the economic implications of that.

One of the biggest environmental issues in Australia came from non-GM methods - the introduction of cane toads to deal with beetles in the cane crop - imagine if we had just managed to tweak our cane to be more resistant!




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