Showing posts with label gm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gm. Show all posts

GM Not for Food Okay for Health

Genetic modification is favored in health but not for food.
Convincing people to eat genetically modified food still has a long way to go to gain majority acceptance. Yet, just about everyone is in favor of using gene technology to treat health problems. This is a strange anomaly. Gene manipulation of any kind will change the world we live in. Once a change has been made and it spreads through the environment it is there forever.
The case against genetically modified crops, GMCs
Drug companies admit they have lost the war in Europe. There is no way that GM food will ever be accepted there. It is largely an emotional decision, not scientifically based. Possibly, in the near future, Europe will ban DNA experimentation in health as well. This will be counter-productive. If money is invested in nations that welcome gene science then the environment will change anyway because we all live in the same world.

There is a major problem looming, however, on the real future of genetically modified crops. To be profitable farmers must use Monsanto's Roundup. This is losing its effectiveness, particularly in Western Australia which has recently relaxed laws restricting GMCs. The cart isn't much use without the horse.  Even crops modified to be resistant against glyphosate could become weeds in the future.  Unless a new effective herbicide is developed soon the industry will not attract investors - potential profit drives everything.
 Gemetics by Ty Buchanan 
 Australian Blog
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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More Meat and Milk from Cloned Cows

The Pollard farm looks like an ordinary farm but there is something that makes it unique. Many cows there are identical. Indeed, 20 are clones. They are copies of the most productive animals around. It must be noted, however, that the clones real age is their actual age plus the age of the animal they were cloned from. This is the problem with cloning, but, in breeding animals that give more meat and milk there has been no major obstacles.

Less feed is required per pound of meat or liter of milk. Clones also reproduce quicker with reduced complications. This is good for the environment: less fertilizer and diesel is used.

There are issues with genetic tampering of animals and crops. Scientists are saying that despite decades of work no genetically modified crop has yet been adopted worldwide. Because only people from high-income countries eat meat, cloning of cows will not help world hunger.

The real challenge with cloning of cows is the high cost - $15,000 per animal. So meat from them will also be expensive. Genetically modified crops also have the same problem. Thus, cost is the main persisting barrier to acceptance of GM products.
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Money Wasted On New GM Grape Vine

Although GM foods have spread quietly throughout the world slipping under lax labelling systems, people are still suspicious of them. Because of the strict ban on their distribution in Europe if something disastrous happen to those who unknowingly consume them, Europeans will have the last laugh.

It seems scientists are obsessed with DNA modification of anything they can get their hands on. Wine has been made for centuries from grapes that are perfect for the job. Just why one would want to mess around with the DNA of the humble grape vine is a mystery. For ten years scientists in Adelaide have been trying to modify grapes to make them resistant to mildew. This disease can easily by prevented by spraying with fungicide.

There has been limited success in the laboratory. Tests in the field will follow. There is a problem, however, a Significant proportion of Australian wine is sold in Europe, where as mentioned above there is a ban on the sale of genetically modified food. What a waste of time and money having people and resources tied up in something that is basically unwanted.
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New Genomes Could Be Dangerous

There is a lot of excitement about synthetic biology. That is the creation of designer organisms. Many people are concerned, however, fearing the making of monsters that cannot be destroyed, but new developments improve health care and reduce the reliance on non-renewable resources.

New body parts are being made from a patient's own stem cells. GM food crops have been accepted after some early resistance. There are clear benefits for society from these scientific achievements. What is not so clear are the possible dangers from creation of completely new genomes to produce fuel, food, polymers and drugs.

Making new life forms that could reproduce is the area which frightens most people. There isn't much doubt that science will progress. At the moment purpose built creations are limited to 10 genes. This barrier will soon be surpassed.

There is always danger that new things will be misused. We will just have to hope that rules and regulations will prevent this. It seems that science will continue to move forward and not much will be done to stop technical advances.
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Dangers of Gene Manipulation

The war over genetic manipulation of crops and the human body has not yet been won be either side. Recently Greenpeace destroyed a crop of modified wheat that had been genetically altered to raise fiber content which was intended to reduce bowel cancer. Cross contamination of non-modified crops on farms adjacent to land where GM food is grown was given as the reason for the attack.

There are many dangers with gene replacement technology:
  • Possible birth defects
  • Anti-biotic resistance
  • Control of patented GM seeds
  • Vertical control of food chain
  • Changes to soil balance
  • Horizontal gene change to related crops
Both sides of Australian politics support gene manipulation. Just why this is the case is a big question. Many Australians are troubled by GM use, though not so much by gene treatment in medicine. Like the nuclear power disaster in Japan, one gene related "accident" may end the optimism.
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