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ethical discussion of genetically modified organisms

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faith manning

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of ethical discussion of genetically modified organisms

GMO's, What are Those?
And Why Are People
Talking About Them? An Introduction to an Ethical Discussion
of Genetically Modified Organisms Proponents often cite health concerns
and that the information is
important for consumer rights
and freedom. Here is an article from the Huffington Post titled Genetically Modified Food Labels Legislation Fails in Connecticut
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/genetically-modified-food-labels_n_1506897.html Here is a link to a Huffington Post article entitled GMO Labeling Wins Backing In Connecticut http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/gmo-labeling_n_1371260.html Here is a link to the special interest group CT NOFA (National Organic Farmers Association)
GMO Resource Page with info about what happened with the GMO Labeling bill in CT

http://www.ctnofa.org/GMO%20resource%20page.html "Expert Jeffrey M. Smith, author of the #1 GMO bestseller, Seeds of Deception, and Genetic Roulette, entertains a wildly appreciative audience with shocking facts about how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) entered our lives. Smith links GMO to toxins, allergies, infertility, infant mortality, immune dysfunction, stunted growth, and death. Whistleblowers were fired, threatened, and gagged, and warnings by FDA scientists were ignored. "
http://www.seedsofdeception.com/ 1986
- field tests conducted of
bacteria genetically engineered
to protect plants from frost damage
-in the same year Monsanto's
pest resistance protein was dismissed 2007
- Monsanto’s trait technologies
planted on 246 million acres
-U.S. corn farmers planted more
than 17 million acres of triple-stack corn,
which combines Roundup Ready 2 weed control technology with YieldGard Corn Borer and YieldGard Rootworm insect control 2012
-French farmer Paul Francois
sues Monsanto for chemical
poisoning he claims was caused
by its pesticide Lasso, part of the
Roundup Ready line of products.
Francois wins and sets a new
precedent for future cases. 2014
patent on the Roundup
Ready line of genetically
engineered seeds
will end What Do You Know About GMO? 1973
- E. coli was produced
the first recombinant bacteria 1975
-Asilomar Conference
on recombinant DNA
-140 professionals including
biologists, lawyers and doctors
meet to discuss the safely of GMOs
- two principles were established:
containment and the effectiveness
of the containment 1978
- Herbert Boyer founded Genentech
the first company to use
recombinant DNA technology 1994
-first genetically engineered
food for sale on american food
store shelves 1998
- 40 million acres of land
are planted with GE crops
world wide 2001
-Gene from Arabidopsis
is put into tomato plants so
they are able to grow in a salty area 2009
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
approved the first human biological
drug produced from an animal, a goat.
ATryn is an anticoagulant which reduces
the probability of blood clots during
surgery or childbirth. It is extracted from
the goat's milk 2011
- Research in eastern Quebec
finds Bt toxins in the blood of
pregnant women and shows
evidence that the toxin is passed to fetuses. GMO
Laws Opponents say it will raise packaging costs.
Some are afraid companies, like Monsanto, might contest it saying it goes against their freedom of expression. What Are People Doing About it? "Monsanto actually ran several different promotional campaigns around the turn of the century in the U.K. that explained to consumers how they would soon begin noticing the labeling changes on food packages... Monsanto, in other words, was apparently very proud of its biotechnological developments at that time, and wanted everyone to know about them."

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037222_GMO_labeling_Monsanto_Europe.html#ixzz2DZmWNEH7 European Labeling Laws Raising awareness through publishing books, giving lectures, and encouraging activism http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/ The Potential
The Risks Genetically modified crops are a way to make agricultural products safer and more affordable.
These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content.
Genetic engineering, on the other hand, can create plants with the exact desired trait very rapidly and with great accuracy. An example would be that, plant geneticists can isolate a gene responsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into a different plant.
The new genetically-modified plant will gain drought tolerance as well.
Not only can genes be transferred from one plant to another, but genes from non-plant organisms also can be used. The best known example of this is the use of B.t. genes in corn and other crops. Several states in the U.S., including CT, want to enact laws that require companies to label products that use GMO. For some crops, it is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means such as tilling, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides (weed-killer) to destroy weeds, that requires care so that the herbicide doesn't harm the crop plant or the environment.
Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences have created a strain of "golden" rice containing an unusually high content of beta-carotene (vitamin A)13. Since this rice was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation14, a non-profit organization, the Institute hopes to offer the golden rice seed free to any third world country that requests it. Businesses can use Optional Labels to help consumers chose nonGMO products Some groups want to ban GMO altogether The modification of some crops to improve their resistance to herbicides has given rise to a rapidly growing population of herbicide-resistant weeds, which has led to more herbicide use.
This can cause economic hardship for farmers who find it harder to grow crops and have to spend more for herbicides.
It also results in more chemical runoff into streams and rivers.
Increased herbicide use threatens humans, because it means potentially higher levels of toxic chemicals in our food. According to scientific research, it has been shown that those who eat genetically modified foods tend to see an increase in their allergic reactions to the types of foods they are already allergic too. By eating these genetically modified foods people also form allergies to foods which they were never allergic to before.
In lab tests done on animals there were cases where once the animals ingested genetically modified food they became completely sterile in a matter of weeks. What was interesting in fact was that in some cases these animals were force fed the food because they didn’t want to eat it themselves naturally. They are finding that GMO’s are a breeding ground for bacteria and virus’s and since the digestive system is where the body is exposed when ingesting these harmful foods, reversing the damaging effects of these foods is nearly impossible. In other cases on mice and rats, there is documented proof that the digestive system grows bigger for some strange reason.
As individuals ingest more and more genetically modified foods and organisms into their body it has been shown that the bodies toxicity increases which leads to a ton of other potentially serious health problems. As stated by NaturalNews.com it has been shown that there is a definite link between Obesity, Cancer and Toxicity. GMOs and
Ethical Philosophies Utilitarianism -

By focusing on maximizing
happiness for the most people, utilitarians would be supportive of GMOs due to their potential to maximize food output. Kantianism -

Due to their reliance on duty without much regard to the consequences, Kantians should support the use of GMOs as perhaps our most realistic avenue of ending world hunger. Egoism -

Egoism holds that an action is right when it best serves the individual making that action. Therefore Egoism is supportive of GMOs from the point of view of companies like Monsanto, but perhaps less supportive from the point of view of the consumer. Biocentrism -

Biocentrism places great value on non-human species and ecosystems, and therefor can be seen as staunchly against the concept of GMOs. Altruism -

Altruism holds that people are obligated to help one another. Therefor altruism would perhaps praise the use of GMOs as atleast an attempt to solve the problem of the millions of starving people around the world. However it would likely condemn the giant GMO corporations. Abolitionism (bioethics) -

Abolitionists promote the use of biotechnology to further overall happiness and eliminate suffering. Bioethical abolitionists endorse the use of GMOs. Genetically Modified Organisms Intended to alleviate hunger pangs around the world But studies have revealed concerns about their safety to human and animal consumers The practice of genetic modification can also be dangerous to eco-systems because GM crops can cross-pollinate with native species Because of health and safety concerns, some consumer groups are advocating for mandatory labeling of food containing GMO Many groups are focused on consumer education Some corporations are lobbying against GMO labeling laws Many consumers are choosing organic and local options to avoid risks of GM food, as well as growing their own food organically. What do you think about the practical and ethical considerations of genetically modified organisms?
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