Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    Bt are "specific" in that they don't kill all insects, but they're still pretty broad-spectrum. Its not like one type of Bt kills only cabbage worms; the cabbage worm "specific" Bt also kills the larval stage of most types of beetles. I don't know how much biology you know, but Bt specificity is at the "family" taxonomic rank; e.g. a particular Bt will be lethal to all species/genera within a family, and often has reduced toxicity to similar families. This is one reason why an ant-specific Bt has not been released; such a Bt kills ants, but would also harm a number of pollinator species including bees and wasps (all of whom belong to close families to ants).

    In GMO plants the toxin doesn't go away because it is continually produced by the cells - as far as the plant is concerned, its just another gene under a promoter (the thing that turns genes on and off) that is 'on' in cuticle tissues. You could think of it as equivalent to a gene that gives your skin colour - its always 'on' in your skin, and 'off' everywhere else. But in this case, instead of colour, its making an insect toxin in the plants "skin".

    In terms of resistance, you have how resistance forms backwards. Transient exposures, such as those you get with spraying, are what cause resistance to evolve. The reason being that a portion of the insects are exposed to a non-lethal dose (e.g. due to being in a more poorly sprayed area, or because they move into the field a few days after spraying); this lets any insects with a small amount of resistance a chance to out-compete those without any resistance. The next time you spray you re-select for insects with some resistance, with more resistant insects out-competing less resistant ones. Repeat enough times and completely resistant species can emerge. GMO is always there, at toxic levels, making it much harder for resistance to evolve. Resistance can still evolve with GMO, which is why the more modern Bt strains express 2 or 3 different Bt toxins. This approach seems to be sufficient to prevent the evolution of resistance (its also why similar tri- or quadravalent-component treatments are used to treat things like HIV).

    As to why non-GMO seeds are still propagated, there are a number of reasons:
    1. Most food crops are not GMO'd (only ~10 crops have GMO variants available) so there is a need to produce those seeds for producers.
    2. Crop breeding is still a major industry, and those strains represent their feed stock
    3. GMO is never done alone; it is always combined with conventional breeding approaches (which are pretty unnatural, btw) to produce plants with the desired characters. Think of it this way - with GMO you can add or remove a single select trait with high specificity. What you cannot do (yet, at least) is insert general desired characteristics.
    4. Those seeds represent a lot of genetic diversity which can be used in the future for breeding or GMO
    5. Some people just like old varieties.



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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    Im not convinced, but no matter because Im against natural and GMO toxins.

    http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsa...nimals-people/
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    I'm not going to breakdown all the falsehoods in that article, but lets just say that they are very selectively feeding you information that supports their political agenda, rather than giving an as unbiased view as possible. There are literally tens of thousands of academic researchers out there whose job is to investigate safety/etc of GMO's; they are independent of industry and of special interest groups. And their work consistently shows that GMOs are as safe as any other crop, and generally are better for the environment across a broad range of categories.

    Just as one example of how misleading your article is, take the line "The Bt toxin expressed by GM Bt plants is different from natural Bt, both in terms of its structure and its mode of action". That is true...for one single line of now withdrawn Bt corn. All other approved Bt plants express the full, native Bt protein. So while the fact in their claim is true, the remainder of what they state - and their implication that it is true for all Bt strains - is not.

    Its a common bait-and-switch approach used by the anti-GMO lobby (and most other anti-science groups, from creationists, to anti-vaxers, to flat-earthers) to make their case, but to be blunt about it, its simply lying while using a few bona-fide facts to give their claims the veneer of authenticity. I would suggest you look to sources not from lobby groups (either for- or against-GMOs) and look instead to the independent researchers whose only interest is to accurately understand the impact of GMO's.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    There are no independent researchers in my eyes. On both sides perhaps.
    It should be that the people can decide what to choose with declaration of products, no matter if they are educated or not. Democracy freedom. But the declarations lack. Why? Lobby input?
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    Well that is hugely insulting to myself and all the other scientists tolling out there to make your life better. The most valuable thing I have - profession-wise - is my independence. It's the whole underlying basis of academic freedom, and the foundation upon which science has progressed for the past 500 or so years. But I guess no one can convince a conspiracy-mongerer.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    No its not insulting. Its your personal feeling because you are convinced of your knowledge.

    The problem is the arrogance of believing that you are the Redeemer of mankind because you are convinced of your knowledge.
    But there are people who are suspicious of it.
    These too have a voice and a right to their opinion.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    It is insulting, whether you intended it that way or not. You presume to know what motivates I (and my fellow scientists), and because the facts we reveal don't align with your personal beliefs, you assume that they are a product of bias. You should try stepping into a lab one day, I think you'll be shocked at the Herculean steps we go through to remove our conscious and unconscious biases from our analyses. Right now you are ascribing motivations based purely on your ignorance of how science works, and the best defence you can come up with for that is insinuation and insults.

    And yes, I am convinced of my knowledge; the nice thing about science is we can assign mathematical certainty to our conclusions and even quantify the likelihood that we are wrong. That doesn't make me the redeemer of mankind - and for that matter at no place did I ever express the opinion that GMO was the only way to go - but it does mean that I can be certain the information I share is as accurate as possible.

    And while I agree that people have a right to their opinions, they do not have a right to their own facts. Facts stand independent of us and our opinions. But if you have to ignore facts to keep your opinions, than you opinions are - in a word - wrong. And similarity, while you have a right to your opinions, you do not have the right to not have those opinions challenged, nor to have them treated as equal to informed opinions.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    No problem. Im not feeling insulted. Sorry that you feel insulted.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory

    Last edited by rwurster; 02-20-2018 at 10:21 PM.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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