Lol. Why would I flame you? If you have information I don't I'd rather appreciate you sharing it with me. Only an idiot wants to remain stupid just to think they're right, and I know you wouldn't try to purposefully
engage me in a flame-war.
next... i'm really not sure where you came by the idea that modified plants were MORE suseptable to pests and disease compared to the classical forms of plant breeding (which are after all pretty unnatural in themselves since it involves hybridisation followed by repeat back crossing!). in fact most of the thrust of genetic modification is now towards transfering pest and disease resistence genes from wild populations or traditional strains into commerical crops
Many similar problems arise with pest-resistant and herbicide-resistant plants. The evolution of resistant pests and weeds termed superbugs and superweeds is one. Resistance can evolve whenever selective pressure is strong enough. If these cultivars are planted on a commercial scale, there will be strong selective pressure in that habitat, which could cause the evolution of resistant insects in a few years and nullify the effects of the transgenes. Likewise, if spraying of herbicides becomes more regular due to new cultivars, surrounding weeds could develop a resistance to the herbicide tolerant by the crop. This would cause an increase in herbicide dose or change in herbicide, as well as an increase in the amount and types of herbicides on crop plants. Ironically, chemical companies that sell weed killers are a driving force behind this research. (Steinbrecher, 1996)
Another issue is the uncertainty in whether the pest-resistant characteristic of these crops can escape to their weedy relatives causing resistant and increased weeds. (Traynor and Westwood, eds., 1999) It is also possible that if insect-resistant plants cause increased death in one particular pest, it may decrease competition and invite minor pests to become a major problem. In addition, it could cause the pest population to shift to another plant population that was once unthreatened. These effects can branch out much further. A study of Bt crops showed that "beneficial insects, so named because they prey on crop pests, were also exposed to harmful quantities of Bt." It was stated that it is possible for the effects to reach further up the foodweb to effect plants and animals consumed by humans. (Halweil, 1999).
Also, from a toxicological standpoint, further investigation is required to determine if residues from herbicide or pest resistant plants could harm key groups of organisms found in surrounding soil, such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and other microorganisms. (Snow et. al, 1997)
The potential risks accompanied by disease resistant plants deal mostly with viral resistance. It is possible that viral resistance can lead to the formation of new viruses, and therefore new diseases. It has been reported that naturally occurring viruses can recombine with viral fragments that are introduced to create transgenic plants, forming new viruses. Additionally, there can be many variations of this newly formed virus. (Steinbrecher, 1996) NYU
ok, its the fault of the big companies but in an entirely practical line of thinking its a GOOD thing that the companies want these "old" genes because it preserves varieties that would be extinct by now if not for them! now i totally agree that monocultures with extremely low genetic variability are bad but that describes mostly industrially grown crops in the world now
I don't have a problem with preserving old genes. And how can you say that monoculture is bad, but oh well because that describes most industrial crops? Isn't the topic of the discussion ways in which to change threats to human longevity on earth, rather than complacency?
! and if you want a classical reference the entire potato famine in ireland (though not the starvation and mass exodus that followed it which was entirely down to protestant christian landlords... oops! i won't go on...) was due to only a single blight suseptable variety of potato being grown across the whole of ireland! and since it was produced vegetatively there was ZERO variation!
So...you agree that having several varieties of crops, with different genetic make-ups, would have helped prevent the famine...yet you're arguing with me why?
ok this myth of genetically modified crops being bad for people. can you tell me where that actually comes from? in what way can the difference of a SINGLE codon in a SINGLE gene affect people? there are NO new proteins produced! are the resistence genes in new plants toxic? well since they're only expressed as proteins in parts of the plant we don't eat i'd have to say i just don't follow the reasoning! the BT gene that's usually used paralyses insects by affecting their GABA receptors but mammalian GABA receptors are completely different! with about 500 million years of divergent evolution between them and us! oh! and the EU didn't ban GM foods just some uses of... its complicated...
"This study was just routine," said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.
After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.
And if this isn't shocking enough, some in the third generation even had hair growing inside their mouths--a phenomenon rarely seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy. HuffPo
What's disconcerting is that GM is so new that we don't know the over-reaching health effects that can be caused by them. But trends are appearing.
right! enough of my ranting at the failings of some people's cell biology and ecotoxicology education!
No worries. I'm sure I'll be just as respectful when you post something worth commenting on.
what i MEANT by genetically modified plants (and animals too!) isn't the tinkering with an odd gene here or there! and yes i'll admit that you're right that such minor alterations can move into wild populations but the cat is SO out of the bag on that one!
So let's do nothing? GE corn from Kansas was found growing on a small, private, isolated farm in the hills of Mexico.
horizontal gene movement is wildly out of control and we have bacteria to blame for that! no when i talk about genetically modified plants i mean ones where the majority or totality of the genome is artifical! a plant (or animal) that is related to nothing, can breed with no preexisting organism and is mapped at the molecular level to have no surprises lurking in its make up! sod a plant to make vegetable oil that can make biodiesel when its possible to make a plant make petrol!! you see my point?