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TOK Presentation: GM Foods

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Ruby O'Loughlin

on 27 May 2013

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Transcript of TOK Presentation: GM Foods

Genetically Modified Food How can Theory of Knowledge help us decide if genetically modified food is ethical? What is Genetically Modified Food? Late last year a French study on the long-term health impacts of GM was published in the peer reviewed journal 'Food and Toxicology', It suggested serious long-term consequences of a diet of GM maize in rats, who developed a higher rate of cancerous tumors, organ failures and premature death than control groups. The validity of this study was highly debated.

This study is particularly significant for South Africa as "the GM maize that was used in this test constitutes 40% of South Africa's maize crop". 90% of South Africa's maize (which is one of their staple foods) is genetically modified. Genetically Modified maize
study shows horrific effects... but is it reliable? Pro-GM Perspectives Anti-GM A K MATHS Boserup Theory Malthusian Theory Health Economics Poverty Crossbreeding and biodiversity Allergies "Super Weeds" Long term effects Claim: the medical, economic and social benefits of GM outweigh the possible harmful effects Claim: the identified issues and remaining uncertainties of GM technology make it unsafe regardless of its initial benefits Implications: unnecessarily denying solutions to current problems Implications: long term, widespread health problems due to lack of research. Thalidomide is a past example of this. Assumptions:
there are negative health side effects to GM and Seralini's results correct (to some extent)
long term livelihood is more important than current quality of life Assumptions of pro-GM:
any harmful effects are not of great significance
current problems are greater than those of the future A K Natural Sciences The politics of science:
Opposing perspectives debate over correct scientific method Conclusion Pro-GM Perspectives GM Companies Demographers Vegetarians Independent farmers Religious Anti-GM Perspectives This presentation will look at: What GM is
Real life issue: recent disputed study
AOKs in GM
Perspectives on GM: who is Pro and who is Anti
problem: pro-GM or pro-profit? "Genetically modified foods have had foreign genes (genes from other plants or animals) inserted into their genetic codes" Maryland Uni Med Centre Bacillus thuringiensis is a species of bacteria that produces proteins that are toxic to certain insects. The Bt trait provides protection against a broad spectrum of insect pests, including corn borer. less pesticides and chemicals being handled can make food more nutritional or less unhealthy can make food more available and resilient to reduce malnutrition and starvation effects on non-target organisms gene flow to non-GM plants brazil nuts in soy - links to crossbreeding unwanted plants receiving enhancing genes no human life-long study has been conducted; only 90 day animal studies currently required cold-tolerant tomatoes with animal genes not all farmers benefit equally from Bt maize and there are costs associated with the technology Colossians 1:16

For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. crops less affected by seasons/disasters higher yield from GM plants as they are pest resistant Monsanto and patents feeding the growing population in an already evident global food crisis Seralini's study sparked plenty of debate and further testing, which is still being conducted.


Our ability to make our minds up in ethics is here inhibited by science, and a lot of independent and critical thinking, and probably time, is required to reach any conclusion at all. WOKs: reason, em tion economic and health aspects most beneficial to the poor Other anti-GM points there are no contorl methods for South Africas GM, if there are long-term effects WOKs: reason, emotion, language I'm assuming company leaders and boards are making choices based on profit and are emotionally affected by profit increases type of rat
sample size
maize intake
raw data
funding
language Who conducts these tests? What results are they aiming to achieve? What are their motives? What impacts do scientific debates have on our ability to determine the ethics of genetic modification? Knowlwdge Issue
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