Round 2: ragster v Skyfloating: No More GM Crops

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posted on Sep, 2 2008 @ 10:52 PM
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The topic for this debate is ”Genetic Modification Of Crop Seeds Are Unethical And Should Be Stopped Immediately”.

ragster will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Skyfloating will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 06:09 PM
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Hello to all, Skyfloating and judges.


Genetic modification of Crops


What exactly is a genetically modified plant?




Agriculturally important plants are often genetically modified by the insertion of DNA material from outside the organism into the plant's DNA sequence, allowing the plant to express novel traits that normally would not appear in nature, such as herbicide or insect resistance. Seed harvested from GMO plants will also contain the modification.
The current GMO production basically relates to four crops: soybeans, corn, cotton and oilseed rape.
[1]




Opening Statement

The genetic modification of crops should be stopped. As said should not be continued because of the unethical use of said new Genetically Enhanced or said Modified plants, plant products, plant seeds and bio-farming techniques that will also have negative long term effects on the environment.
Plant modification, also transgenic plants, biopharming, in some cases biotechnologies, and also called GM or GMO’ is and will be looked as “unethical”.


The GM of plants in ways has been going on for centuries. But in the world, GM has been taking to new levels creating plants for long lasting, better colors, better taste and less possibility of failure during growth. In many countries GM of plants have been banned, and in some cases there has been special licensed and monitored tests. [2]



The use of Genetic Modification is a means for more crops, more stable sales, means more income. The use of the GM on plants and seeds would show certain resistant for certain plants to drought problems and growing stages.



allowing the plant to express novel traits that normally would not appear in nature, such as herbicide or insect resistance.... Global trade of these crops and its main derivatives is dominated by GMO origin material (90% of soybean trade, 80% of maize trade, 70% of oilseed rape trade and 45% of cotton seed trade...[1]












Sources:

1. www.romerlabs.com...
2. Colbert, James T. "Genetic Engineering." Plant Sciences. Ed. Richard Robinson. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. Science Resource Center. Gale. 03 September 2008 galenet.galegroup.com...



posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 06:44 PM
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Hello Ragster, Hello Judges, Hello Readers.

I have been assigned the debate topic „GM Crops are not unethical and need not be stopped immediately“. I will do my best to represent this viewpoint within this debate.

Guiding Statement:While it is important that we remain sceptical of new advancements in technology, we need not demonize everything that is new. I’d like to show that our examination of this important topic mustn’t be fear-based but looked at in an objective and calm manner to arrive at the truth.

Definition:Genetic Modification refers to the alteration of crop plants (foods we eat) using molecular biology.

Advantages of GM:

• Food for the World: Our population of 6 Billion is expected to double in the next 50 years. Already today, entire continents do not have enough to eat. In the spirit of survival of us all and not only the privileged, GM offers solutions for famine. “Stopping GM Crops immediately” as my debate opponent argues, would have large parts of the population starve to death. Opponents of GM do not offer viable alternatives for our continued survival and prosperity as far as food is concerned.

• Insect Pest Resistance: GM offers food that is resistant to insect pests. This has been a major cause of financial loss for farmers, starvation in third world countries and health hazards caused by the use of pesticides on our foods. GM is the healthy alternative.

• Herbicide Resistance: Large amounts of weed-killers (herbicide) are expensive, can harm the environment, and take a lot of work and time. Herbicide resistant GM plants can be created to reduce the amount of Herbicide needed, thereby saving costs and protecting the environment.

• Weather Resistance: It is possible to create GM plants that are resistant against frost, drought and other weather conditions hazardous to the crop. This will allow for the cultivation of foods in places not normally suitable and therefore help put an end to starvation (The same applies to salt-resistant GM crop)

• Pollution and Disease Resistance: Fungi, Bacteria, Viruses, and contamination by pollution are major causes for food loss. This too can be solved with GM.

• Solution to Malnutrition: One example would be an African town that has only rice to eat. Rice will not suffice for a balanced nutrition though. GM opens up the possibility of adding other elements to the rice, such as vitamins and could solve this problem.

Conclusion:Considering the huge benefits of GM it would be premature to demonize it as generally unethical across the board and call for it’s immediate termination.

Humankind has been altering nature since the beginning of time. Our roads, buildings, foods, telecommunications all constitute an alteration of the way things were before. Modifying food is no different than this.

In my next post we will be examining the objections to GM as brought forward by my debate opponent and the general public.

Questions to my Opponent

1. Do you agree that banning all GM of crops immediately would cause problems in several countries that are dependent on them?

2. Do you agree that GM crops may offer the solution to famine and starvation?

3. Do you agree that withholding or banning that solution could be termed unethical?



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 09:21 AM
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Rebuttal & Question reply


Do you agree that banning all GM of crops immediately would cause problems in several countries that are dependent on them?


No, actually there are no countries mortally dependent on GM products at the moment. In the case they were dependent on GM products I would not agree in banning immediately but to slowly pull out an begin to farm as has been for centuries. There is no need for something new if the way things have been done for centuries work just fine.

America is the only country per say dependent on GMO’s but not because the USA needs the food, but because the USA is looking into other alternatives that have nothing to do with food consumption and preservation of life...




Do you agree that GM crops may offer the solution to famine and starvation?


GM might offer new aspects for famine problems, but GMO's are not the solution. Famine is not because countries cannot grow food, it is because, of war, conflict, and lack of funds to supply the people with food.

The risk assessment of introducing new GM products that possibly could destroy an entire environment is a huge risk and not worth it. No country per say in Africa will afford a “safe” bio-dome research and growth facility. Nor would any country just give new, high priced genetic seeds or plants to a country that will not pay for it. So no, GMO would only create more wars, more death, more per person in need of food.

The risks outweigh the benefits, in that, the possibility of having “toxins” or dominate plants within an environment could possibly cause problems for the rest of the environmental process of things, the natural cycle of life within nature.




Do you agree that withholding or banning that solution could be termed unethical?


Yes, It would not be unethical for the simple reason that, if for years people have been living off of hard work and crops that makes a place what it is today, there is no way withholding an unstable or unknown “miracle food” from someone or some country... too good to be true, is often too good to be true.



Judging The Books Cover

As I walking into a store the other day to get some coffee, I saw these multicolored vegetables, I had never seen a purple, yellow or pinkish colored tomatoes before, and for being a health food store it hit me, these must be genetically modified foods. But when I asked someone they told me in fact, these were natural, as I looked at these tomatoes they were not bright red or beautiful like, they were not round or smooth, he points over to the tomatoes I have been eating my whole life, telling me these round tomatoes the ones that you would find in any grocery store are genetically enhanced tomatoes.
I begin to think about the natural and modified foods, I wonder what difference than homegrown tomatoes and those industrial types, I really could not notice a different other than taste. But now looking into this more, I have found that GMO’s seem to offer many different aspects, as looks and color, benefits and what scares me is the negative effects.

At the moment all GMO’s have passed risked assessment tests, but the recent development of bio-technologies has only been around for a few years, and in that, the test of time truly holds these truth.


The ethics of research on the GM of plants and seeds could be seen as means of selfishness, self preservation of a “cash crop”, while in it all proven to be destroying the mainstream ecosystem by introducing new aspects in a non evolutionary way, the environment is not designed to be introduced into new plants, new GMO’s. If per say these GM plants were grown in bio-domes, than yes it would be ok, but who will afford that to offer food for a poor country.

GMO’s truly do sound great, they are great, they do offer the USA and many other countries nice pretty looking food, they offer foods with new abilities and powers. But the truth behind a GMO is unethical. Unethical in the way that, GMO’s enable cash crop at the possibility of risk; there are risks with herbicides and pesticides, but for already many years there is still no problem, the only reason chemicals are used in plants is to grow more, faster, better and stronger.





Questions for opponent

1. Do you believe cloning plants as an alternative for GMO would be safer for the world?

2. How do you feel about the negative effects of what GMOS have caused the world so far? (according to these articles about the company Monsanto)
(www.guardian.co.uk...)

3. Do you think it is unethical that farmers of countries would have to by new seeds every year to be able to grow “miracle” food not being able to reuse these special seed?

4. Do you believe it is unethical for a company to “control” the path of a countries agricultural and economic growth by withholding a seed that a per say company has used “propaganda” so called knowledge to make farmers believe they need such a special seed? (www.globalresearch.ca... )






References:
www.gmo-compass.org...
www.worldhunger.org...
www.organicconsumers.org...



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 10:56 AM
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Ragster:
No, actually there are no countries mortally dependent on GM products at the moment




Ragster:
Famine is not because countries cannot grow food, its because...lack of funds to supply the people with food.



I´ll reply to these false statements with simple and sad facts:


In August 2003, Zambia cut off the flow of Genetically Modified Food (mostly maize) from UN's World Food Programme. This left a famine-stricken population without food aid.


en.wikipedia.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Source

Zambia was forced to change its mind in 2005. This is only one of many examples.


Kenyans examining insect-resistant transgenic Bt corn.




According to the World Health Organization, hunger is the gravest single threat to the world's public health.[1]According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 25,000 people died of starvation every day in 2003,[2] and as of 2001 to 2003, about 800 million people were chronically undernourished.[3][2] The WHO also states that malnutrition is by far the biggest contributor to child mortality, present in half of all cases.[1] Scientists say millions of people face starvation following an outbreak of a deadly new strain of blight, known as Ug99, which is spreading across the wheat fields of Africa and Asia.[4]


As shown in my previous post, GM foods offer solutions to starvation.



Ragster:
There is no need for something new if the way things have been done for centuries work just fine.


Does mass-starvation indicate that what we have done in the past “works just fine”? I think not. We need to come up with new solutions to old problems, and my opponents anti-research stance is not helpful.



Ragster:
…all GMO’s have passed risked assessment tests


Exactly. Enough said.






Ragster:
proven to be destroying the mainstream ecosystem by introducing new aspects in a non evolutionary way, the environment is not designed to be introduced into new plants


Genetic Modification has not been proven to destroy the ecosystem, sorry.



Ragster:
Do you believe cloning plants as an alternative for GMO would be safer for the world?


I don’t know. I believe we should try out various things under safe laboratory conditions, test and re-test and only after much scrutiny and thought, release products to public. And that’s exactly what has been done with GM Foods.




Ragster:
2. How do you feel about the negative effects of what GMOS have caused the world so far? (


The article you linked explains how soya has become too effective and too successful and that researchers (rabid environmentalists) claim that dependence on this miracle may have a negative effect. It pays off to pay attention to the wording of such articles. To answer your question: I don’t see this as a problem that cant be solved.


Ragster:Do you think it is unethical that farmers of countries would have to by new seeds every year to be able to grow “miracle” food not being able to reuse these special seed? (


Possible exploitation and unethical conduct by certain companies is something that indeed needs to be examined. But not within this debate. Unethical conduct by one company does not mean that GM Foods and scientific research need to be “banned immediately” as you propose.


4. Do you believe it is unethical for a company to “control” the path of a countries agricultural and economic growth by withholding a seed that a per say company has used “propaganda” so called knowledge to make farmers believe they need such a special seed? (


It would be unethical if that were happening, but its not.

______________________________

For readers, here´s some interesting general information on GM Foods.



Source




MUCH of Europe may still be resisting the introduction of genetically modified crops, but elsewhere in the world an area larger than the UK is planted with modified maize, cotton and soybeans, according to the latest industry figures.

Last year saw the biggest rise in new planting since 1998 as the troubled agribiotech sector bounced back from environmental and health concerns with a 20 per cent increase in acreage. More than 90 per cent of the 81 million hectares now planted with GM crops are still in the Americas, with the US and Argentina leading the pack. China and India are growing GM cotton, while South Africa and Spain - the only significant European Union grower - are growing GM maize.
“Last year the area planted with modified crops grew fastest in developing nations”

Though the area under GM crops has doubled since 2000, it is still less than 2 per cent of the world's fields. According to Clive James of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, who compiled the data, last year was the first in which the area under GM crops grew faster in developing countries than in the rich world


Questions to my Opponent:

1. Are you saying that the immediate stopping of GM Foods research and productions will have no adverse effects?

2. Do you consider it unethical for someone to ask money for food?

3. What are the 3 main reasons you are convinced that genetic modifications of food is unethical?



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 02:22 PM
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I´ll reply to these false statements with simple and sad facts:


In August 2003, Zambia cut off the flow of Genetically Modified Food (mostly maize) from UN's World Food Programme. This left a famine-stricken population without food aid.



I do care about the people not having food, but that truly is there problem, not ours, not anyone’s except their own… and that is not up for debate.



Does mass-starvation indicate that what we have done in the past “works just fine”? I think not. We need to come up with new solutions to old problems, and my opponents anti-research stance is not helpful.


Indeed cloning has nothing to do with research, I think cloning is quite new and works great.

Mass starvation, once again, it is such a terrible thing in this world. But to have a product that will heal mass hunger, a product that is made over night, bought everyday a new, never controlled by the people who need it, sounds like a prison; a prison where people are in need of life.

How about researching GMO’s that will cause the ends of natural process, research for the faster and better, if the world has learned anything it’s that fast anything has its catch.

And its obvious the research for GMO’s is not to save the world from starvation, its to build a better economic and capitalization standard in the world.


Cloning is a great alternative, simple easy, everyone can do it… as for GMO…

My opponent’s lack of research on the negative effects of GMO proves that the use of the product must be indeed sketchy. I will and have admitted that GMO’s are used in this world and are nice, but the long term overwhelming GMO only would cause mass effect chaos in a natural eco system.

The reason simply put is that GMO needs to be stopped, and in time. You just don’t cut the line in this world… an back on track with the debate…the debate is simply that GMO is unethical, and needs to be stopped in processing and production because of its unethical distribution and effects on the known world.





1. Are you saying that the immediate stopping of GM Foods research and productions will have no adverse effects?

2. Do you consider it unethical for someone to ask money for food?

3. What are the 3 main reasons you are convinced that genetic modifications of food is unethical?




1. I am saying immediate stoppage of GMO products would be fine, yes sure some people would not be without food, but guess what there is no way to immediately stop all production of GMO and plantation already in growth of GMO. It would be a slow stop, you cannot just cut the line, I think the debate name ”Genetic Modification Of Crop Seeds Are Unethical And Should Be Stopped Immediately” is misleading is a way. It can better be understood as.

Genetic modification of seeds is unethical, the production of the seeds needs to be halted.

Cutting off all flow of seeds to the world would cause farmers and such to not have their special miracle seed no more having to go back to regular old planting.

Now it would be unethical in countries that have no seeds of any other plants except GM products and this is another reason why GM is unethical, it is a mortal need, GM production companies know if they can bring their product into a country it will push out any other competition even natural grown foods, there plans are dominate an take over destroying other farm lands, giving a GM production full control on distribution. But again we are not debating the ethics of a distribution company. We are debating the ethics of production of seed that are Genetically Modified.

Because there is no obvious facts or evidence that GM products are good for a long time ot bad for a long time we must look into other reason why the product would be deemed unethical, and as stated there is enough evidence to prove that.


2. It is unethical to demand money for food if a country is per say in need of life or death for a food, why charge a as quoted by you

This left a famine-stricken population without food aid.
.


3. Reason 1- GMO’s offer a short time, short meaningful haven for those in need but the practicality of continued plantations and self farmed sustaining farm lands is impossible as the seeds are controlled by a higher faction, production company.

Reason 2- GMO’s are a means to show great increase in food profits over a period of time, only noticing the good benefits and ignoring the negative effects of GMO’s. The negative effects greatly outnumber and will continue to build over the years.

Reason 3- GMO’s will become a much needed and desired product in the future if allowed to be mass produced, self farms will be taking out and made room for new plantation of new seed that is made by man, some say “playing God” is not right. I do not care, it’s the simple fact that “super seed” will control the agriculture market, and no longer will man have a say in the way he wants to farm, only companies and governments will control, furthering world power movements.


Concluding- the simple thing is, that GMO’s are unethical. Unethical as in means of usage, the means will destroy known ecosystems in this world, unethical as GMO’s will cause more conflict and more turmoil because they will become a cash flow such a need entire countries will die without them. To have something that is so important as food controlled by one company or even government is unethical, therefore also not in all ways, but will cause GMO production to be unethical.




Question for Opponent

1. What is more important:

Someone who is without food because of either external problems (war, drought) and or internal problems (laziness or brain malfunction) or someone who has food because life around them is controlled (IE GMO production) and or because they have to give their life to live?

2. Do you believe if GMO's are continued and one day completely legalized all around the world that each and every person will have their own farm, their own seed production system, their own choice in the matter if they wanna plant this season or not (will GMO's free the people or enslave them)?

[edit on 4-9-2008 by MemoryShock]



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 04:08 AM
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In a previous post my opponent said that there are no countries dependent on GM Crop and that there is no financial benefit to GM Crop. When I refuted this with the example of the Zambian people who caused a famine by banning GM Crop, my opponent responds with this:



Ragster:
I do care about the people not having food, but that truly is there problem, not ours, not anyone’s except their own… and that is not up for debate.


This is a diversion from the fact that I have debunked one of my opponents core ideas. My post had nothing to do with who´s fault it was or wasnt but merely with refuting his claims. Next my opponent writes:




Mass starvation, once again, it is such a terrible thing in this world. But to have a product that will heal mass hunger, a product that is made over night, bought everyday a new, never controlled by the people who need it, sounds like a prison; a prison where people are in need of life.



This is no argument at all, because even non-GM-foods need to be bought.




And its obvious the research for GMO’s is not to save the world from starvation, its to build a better economic and capitalization standard in the world.


Activists against GM Crops often have socialist/communist leanings, believing that food should be distributed for free or without profit for the distributor. While this might be a noble ideal it is highly ineffective. Practice and experience has shown that products not attached to some form of profit, are short-lived. It contradicts the basics of trade.The results can be seen in socialist nations: North Korea is constantly on the brink of mass-starvation. Socialist leader Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has banned GM Crops using the same arguments as my opponent. Giving people food for free does nothing to strengthen their ability to be independent of the benefactor and strengthen their own ability to create food. And, again, we also pay for non-GM-Foods, which are also processed by various COMPANIES.




Ragster:Cloning is a great alternative, simple easy, everyone can do it… as for GMO…


This is a wild contradiction to my opponents previous stance of new technologies having unforseeable negative consequences. I think if we´re going to be careful with GM, we should also be careful with cloning.




My opponent’s lack of research on the negative effects of GMO proves that the use of the product must be indeed sketchy


My opponent has cited a far-out-there-fringe-website (globalresearch.ca) to prove this point (without even explaining in which way that source proves his point) I have cited sincere and objective sources to prove mine and have explained why.





The reason simply put is that GMO needs to be stopped, and in time. You just don’t cut the line in this world… an back on track with the debate…the debate is simply that GMO is unethical, and needs to be stopped in processing and production because of its unethical distribution and effects on the known world.


Please read my opponents quoted paragraph closely as it perfectly displays the typical faulty logic used by GM opponents. My opponent says it needs to be stopped without telling us exactly why it needs to be stopped. Then he says it needs to be stopped because its unethical, without telling us why it is unethical. Up to now all we have is emotionally-coloured slogans without proof.





I think the debate name ”Genetic Modification Of Crop Seeds Are Unethical And Should Be Stopped Immediately” is misleading is a way. It can better be understood as. Genetic modification of seeds is unethical, the production of the seeds needs to be halted.


Being unable to defend the debate topic, my opponent tries to change the debate topic.




It is unethical to demand money for food


Really? So you would advice stealing food as a solution to our problems? Or perhaps giving them fish for free rather than teaching them how to fish? If we give them food for free, we will soon be starving along with them.




self farms will be taking out and made room for new plantation of new seed that is made by man, some say “playing God” is not right. I do not care, it’s the simple fact that “super seed” will control the agriculture market, and no longer will man have a say in the way he wants to farm, only companies and governments will control, furthering world power movements.



The same fear-based argument is used in any other area of new development. When Television was invented, some said "Thats no good. It will kill radio! Our cherished radio!". But radio is still alive and well. We have been chemically altering our food since more than a hundred years, and still completely natural foods are available. A free market is all about A great variety of choice and there will always be the choice to have GM Foods or unaltered foods. As shown in my previous post, GM fields only make up 2% of the whole. And already people are trying to create panic.




Concluding- the simple thing is, that GMO’s are unethical. Unethical as in means of usage, the means will destroy known ecosystems in this world, unethical as GMO’s will cause more conflict and more turmoil because they will become a cash flow such a need entire countries will die without them. To have something that is so important as food controlled by one company or even government is unethical, therefore also not in all ways, but will cause GMO production to be unethical.


The amount of times my opponent says "GMO´s are unethical" are almost countless. The reason for this is that GMO´s itself cannot "BE" unethical in and of themselves. Only what WE DO with them can be ethical or unethical. Try telling a microscopic organism "You are unethical". What nonsense. Of course, if GM Food production were in the hands of one single company, that would have negative implications. Thats why we need to keep monopoly-laws in place, to avoid such.





1. What is more important: Someone who is without food because of either external problems (war, drought) and or internal problems (laziness or brain malfunction) or someone who has food because life around them is controlled (IE GMO production) and or because they have to give their life to live?


As already explained, having to purchase food does not mean one is "controlled"...at least not in the understanding basic economy and trade ("I give you a cow if you give me that steel"). And to answer your question: I am 100% sure that having a choice of different foods (GM and non-GM) is preferrable to war, drought and "brain malfunction".




2. Do you believe if GMO's are continued and one day completely legalized all around the world that each and every person will have their own farm, their own seed production system, their own choice in the matter if they wanna plant this season or not (will GMO's free the people or enslave them)?


The reason debates such as this one are necessary is to make sure that the dark predictions of anti-GM-activists do not come true. If we remain aware of these factors I am sure we can steer the world in a direction in which every nation is self-sufficient and everyone can produce their own seeds and foods. Wouldnt that be wonderful....

Conclusion: I am 100% certain that GM Foods should be regulated and closely monitored, but that doesnt mean they should be banned. Past experiences have shown us that technological advancements gone unmonitored and promoted without ethical responsibility have caused us and the planet damage and that technological advancements that have been introduced with care and ethical considerations have been a blessing.

Simple as that.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:36 AM
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I would love to sit back and argue the opponent and not the topic, and the thing is, that it is fine to point out the way an opponent can debate or not debate and the way an opponent can place ideas or facts across the board, or question sources, if this was “How to debate for dummies”.
See the thing is I do not have to pick at and dissect what anyone says to better design or make my argument seem sufficient, anyone knows the truth from self observance of the facts not the person, anyone can see when someone messes up and there is no need to waste time working that out or pointing that out to further establish a true divergence of the topic.


Guiding Statement:In it all, I am still going to continue to stand firm in all ways that it is unethical for GM seeds, and it should be stopped, because that is the topic, and because of disagreement.
Proof & facts and simple information always outweigh the speaker’s suaveness and skills.
And as I stand I come to show all the information here, more and more, will show how and why GMO’s are unethical, how the use of GMO’s are not necessary, how the production of GMO’s are just a means to an end no matter what the cost.



Please read my opponents quoted paragraph closely as it perfectly displays the typical faulty logic used by GM opponents. My opponent says it needs to be stopped without telling us exactly why it needs to be stopped. Then he says it needs to be stopped because its unethical, without telling us why it is unethical. Up to now all we have is emotionally-coloured slogans without proof.

As previously stated, I remember answering some directed question explaining this, Usually when you ask someone why something is unethical, why something is wrong, you the questioner is automatically assuming they do not like or approve of whatever you are proposing, in that logic would state that, whatever they say is a means and or “why” something must be stopped.



By: Skyfloating
3. What are the 3 main reasons you are convinced that genetic modifications of food is unethical?

Reply by Ragster (summarized)
1. the seeds are controlled by a higher faction, production company…
2. GMO’s are a means to show great increase in food profits over a period of time…The negative effects greatly outnumber…
3. …will control the agriculture market…only companies and governments will control…



Fact: GMO’s are unethical.

Using GMO’s will cause a rise in other Agriculture prices + the already high price for GMO seeds.



That the global food crisis stems mainly from free-market restructuring of agriculture is clearer in the case of rice….
Yet this year alone, prices nearly tripled, from $380 a ton in January to more than $1,000 in April. Undoubtedly the inflation stems partly from speculation by wholesaler cartels at a time of tightening supplies…

June 2, 2008 issue of THE NATION ©. By Walden Bello, Manufacturing a Food Crisis.



The standards of world trade is always governed by people and people are not perfect, but when it comes to money no one, is ever close to good (ethical) about it.



When tens of thousands of people staged demonstrations in Mexico last year to protest a 60 percent increase in the price of tortillas, many analysts pointed to biofuel as the culprit. ...US government subsidies, American farmers were devoting more and more acreage to corn for ethanol than for food, which sparked a steep rise in corn prices....

June 2, 2008 issue of THE NATION ©. By Walden Bello, Manufacturing a Food Crisis.




This explains the already stated problem in how GMO’s will take over an area, will malfunction in eco-system and natural process of agriculture.
I propose building an island or finding one, and build and design your own GMO production farm lands.



GMO’s harm the environment





A new study indicates that a popular type of genetically engineered corn--called Bt corn..
… Bt corn byproducts increased the mortality and reduced the growth of caddisflies … these results "suggest that the toxin in Bt corn pollen and detritus can affect species of insects other than the targeted pest," Tank said. Jennifer Tank, University of Notre Dame

NSF News , Oct. 9, 2007 , Page(s) : n.p. National Science Foundation (NSF), www.nsf.gov... James Raich, National Science Foundation, sks.sirs.com...




This is one of many reasons why Bt-toxin and other chemicals will harm the environment over a long term basis.




"if our goal is to have healthy, functioning ecosystems, we need to protect all the parts. Water resources are something we depend on greatly." - Todd V. Royer, Indiana University

NSF News , Oct. 9, 2007 , Page(s) : n.p. National Science Foundation (NSF), www.nsf.gov... James Raich, National Science Foundation, sks.sirs.com...




… GM Foods should be regulated and closely monitored…


If GMO's are continually introduced into the environment, it will be impossible to have enough man power, enough machines and technologies to regulate the spread of the GMO's.

Example: Imagine introducing "money trees" into the environment, everyone will want one, everyone will get one, but there is a catch they produce a a simply dangerous chemical and that if the tree is not placed in a container it will leak into environment and contaminate it.

There will be no way to contain the GMO's because they will be so popular and so needed in the world. GMO's will never have safe amounts of chemicals in them, they are engineered to be more resistant having stronger chemicals, such as Bt-toxin.



Advocates promote synthetic biology as the key to cheap biofuels, a cure for malaria, cheaper drugs and climate change remediation—a strategy that aims to preempt public concerns about a dangerous and controversial technology.

ECOLOGIST
(London, England)
April 2007, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 42-47
Copyright © Ecosystems Limited. April 2007.



GMO's still today even after many years of development have dangerous controversial problems.




The area of unintended environmental impacts is also of major concern. ... the Bt-toxin ... is toxic to many species of insects...

what unintended consequences may arise from use of the technology prior to widespread adoption of a particular type of transgenic crop plant…

Colbert, James T. "Genetic Engineering." Plant Sciences. Ed. Richard Robinson. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. Science Resource Center. Gale. 05 September 2008



People already see that GMO’s have negative environmental effects. You mess up one cycle and mess up the rest. Soon it will effect humans, what goes around comes around. The reason this planet has lasted so long is not just because of mans adaption, it is because man honors nature and the environment the way and cycle of life.




I expect that this technology will be misapplied, actively misapplied and it would be irresponsible to have a conversation about the technology without acknowledging that fact.'—Drew Endy, Synthetic Biologist, MIT

ECOLOGIST
(London, England)
April 2007, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 42-47
Copyright © Ecosystems Limited. April 2007.



Why exactly is a GMO unethical?


others complain that the technology is too expensive for farmers in developing nations to use…
… the methods to create genetically modified seeds, and the seeds themselves, lie in the hands of a few multinational corporations….
Lewis, Ricki. "Transgenic Organisms: Ethical Issues." Genetics. Ed. Richard Robinson. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. Science Resource Center. Gale. 05 September


GMO’s & “dangerous effects” follow closely always, and will always be in debate with the entire world because of the negative effects already seen in this world and the people who want to produce it. You cannot regulate food, if GMO’s are a loud to continue, it will be impossible to stop the spread and the more effects on the environment. People will be eating today but their children will be dying tomorrow.



It is simple, short term satisfaction for long term destruction of eco-systems and environments.







Question for Opponent:

1. Why would you allow GMO's into the environment if they have and still pose serious ecological and human hazards?

2. Are GMO's worth the satisfaction and fast food aid while causing great long term environmental hazard effects?



Resources:

1. Lewis, Ricki. "Transgenic Organisms: Ethical Issues." Genetics. Ed. Richard Robinson. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. Science Resource Center. Gale. 05 September

2. ECOLOGIST
(London, England)
April 2007, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 42-47
Copyright © Ecosystems Limited. April 2007.

3. Colbert, James T. "Genetic Engineering." Plant Sciences. Ed. Richard Robinson. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. Science Resource Center. Gale. 05 September 2008

4. NSF News , Oct. 9, 2007 , Page(s) : n.p. National Science Foundation (NSF), www.nsf.gov... James Raich, National Science Foundation, sks.sirs.com...

5. June 2, 2008 issue of THE NATION ©. By Walden Bello, Manufacturing a Food Crisis.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 07:44 AM
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Yes, we need to handle GM Crops with more care...but outright ban them immediately? No.

In researching the internet for this debate topic I found the source of objections to GM Foods to come from two main sources:

1: Religious Activists
Their concern is mainly that science should not "play God" and that manipulating gods work is "evil" and will have bad consequences.
This argument is usually brought furth without factual reasoning. If we however put ourselves in their shoes for a moment, and say that these arguments are valid, we could counter with the following: Is not everything a Creation of God, including our abilities to progress and change things?

2. Green Activists
Their concerns are based on the usual technophobic fears. What if it damages the environment? What about unforseen consequences? If we put ourselves in their shoes for a moment, we can understand that they see the negative consequences new technologies have had in the past: From the Nuclear Bomb to the destruction of Forests or Whales, progress has not always had benefits. This is why we must tread with care when applying new technologies. Have we learned from past mistakes? I hope so. However, an outright BAN on this new emerging science is obviously an extremist and overly paranoid stance. Especially since, up to now, there is so much more evidence of benefit than harm.


Study finds benefits of GM Crops Excerpts:


GM crops are no more harmful to the environment than conventional plant varieties, a major UK study has found.



The novel crops were compared with non-GM cereals grown in rotation. The project concluded that the GM varieties, used in this way, did not deplete the soil of weed seeds needed by many birds and other wildlife.



[bNot only did the project find no evidence of seed depletion, it also pointed to potential benefits for farmers of growing the GM crops.



Green Facts: Facts on Health and Environment Excerpts:



8.2 To date, countries where genetically modified crops have been introduced in fields, have reported no significant health damage or environmental harm. Moreover, farmers are using less pesticides or using less toxic ones, reducing harm to water supplies and workers' health, and allowing the return of beneficial insects to the fields. Some of the concerns related to gene flow and pest resistance have been addressed by new techniques of genetic engineering.


It should be obvious to the readers and debate judges that immediately halting all progress out of fear (without providing clear evidence of a threat) is an anti-progress stance that will cause much more harm to society than the alternative.

_____________________________________




Question for Opponent: 1. Why would you allow GMO's into the environment if they have and still pose serious ecological and human hazards?


Fact is (as shown) that they dont pose serious hazards. Theyve already been introduced in several countries without hazardous effect.



2. Are GMO's worth the satisfaction and fast food aid while causing great long term environmental hazard effects?


Fact is (as shown) that they dont pose serious hazards. Theyve already been introduced in several countries without hazardous effect.

Rebuttal of my Opponents Points


1. My opponent says GM Crops are unethical because they are in the hands of only a few multinational corporations.

Rebuttal: This wouldnt make GM Crops unethical. If anything then its the corporations that might behave unethically. However, as GM Foods become more common, it is expected that more than 5 companies (if memory serves me correctly its 5 companies producing GM Foods currently) begin to participate. Competition, exact scrutiny by critical organizations (green activists and religious activists) and international trade laws are making sure ethical standards will be upkept.

2. My opponent says, and I quote "when it comes to money no one is ever ethical".

In my entire life I have never once had a transgression on the subject of money...and Im sure millions of other people share this attitude of integrity. The claim that nobody is ever ethical on money sounds more like the rantings of some anti-civilization dogma than a debate argument.

(Side-note: The first two external sources my opponent quotes do not even address GM Foods but are statements on Food Crisis in general...something GM Foods can help to solve!)

3. My opponent quotes external sources that say that GM is a dangerous and controversial technology without providing a shred of evidence of - again - WHY they are dangerous and controversial. He attempts to cover up the lack of proof for this by bolding the words "dangerous and controversial".

4. My opponent quotes a source voicing the worry that GM will be misapplied. Alright. I can accept that. Hey, why dont we also ban kitchen knives? They could be misapplied! In fact, they have! And lets also ban anything else for that matter. Anything can be applied for the benefit of mankind or for its downfall. Its not the kitchen knives themselves that are "unethical", but what people do with them.

We should therefore be placing a premium on education in ethics, integrity and survival of the human race instead of the banning of everything that could be "misapplied".

The Universe must be studied and handled responsibly, not banned. In fact, history has shown that its impossible to ban anything that is already known. If we BAN GM of Foods it will be criminalized and go underground...and thats where the real damage will start.

GM Foods, like many other new technologies, need to be handled with care and used as a means for the prosperity and health of all.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:49 AM
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Closing Statement


In closing this debate I would like to highlight 3 things.

1. Genetically Modified Seeds, Organisms are unethical to produce because they do offer no positive changes for the environment, they do not offer any proven worldwide positive effects. GMO’s will cause a change in this world that man will never be able to reverse. It will become one of the world’s greatest regrets.


2. GMO’s offer hope to those in need, they offer hope and dreams to people who do not have the possibility to live another day without food own their own. GMO’s will change the world in two ways. Helping life now, turning life around forever.


3. GMO’s will grow into this world, they will consume this world. GMO’s will become a life source, a need like air & water for the world. The world will never be able to go without them, the people of need will never be able to live their own life ever again.



At looking on “No More GM Crops” as the Highlight of this debate I am satisfied with the facts and information given. This subject is difficult for it people will always be arguing it whether religious or green advocates to pro GMO supporters.

Genetically Modified crops if so continued, will change the known world and the echoes of this great advancement will bounce back and knock man off of his feet, will destroy his given foundation in the world, sustained by man, man.


I stand to ban genetically modified seeds and organisms .

We must not give man this, for it may look good answer, and offer great effects for man, but will man ever take into consideration what mans selfishness will do to the environment. GMO production is risking the future.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I propose a world that will take initiative, a world that will help fellow man in need and teach him how to farm and not fight wars, how to help build and not create destruction. Man wastes his life trying to control others. Let’s show man to not accept life from others in a controlled environment, but instead show him how to preserve a free life by making life for others.


Thank you




“Let us resolve that we will stop spreading dependency and start spreading opportunity; that we will stop spreading bondage and start spreading freedom.” - Ronald Reagan



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 10:29 AM
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This debate has led me to change my views

I will admit that when I was assigned this topic I was skeptical. Skeptical not only of GM Foods in general ("Yuck...how can unnatural foods be good?") but also of my ability to actually win this argument. I must say, I was ill-informed. My strategy was to look up the best evidence against GM Foods so that I would be properly prepared for the onslaught of my opponent.

But guess what...I didnt find that "best evidence against GM". Instead I found that my own skepticism was based on rumours and hearsay and that I didnt have a clue of all the benefits and possibilities.

My new position, after reviewing the facts, is that changing something in nature is not necessarily "unnatural" because the human doing the changes, the things he changes, the tools with which he changes, are all derived from nature. We are only making use of the possibilities already there! And there is absolutely nothing unethical about discovering a good product and offering it to the world.

My opponent uses one of my favourite attitudes: Dont give them fish, teach them how to fish!

Ironically, what my opponent has been proposing throughout this debate goes in the opposite direction of that. He leans towards money and trade being unethical, he´d rather give people food for free...to give them fish for free.

I also learned that most Con-points are based on what might happen in the Future, rather than the already collected evidence. They are based on irrational fear rather than results of research and usage.

In closing, lets review the debate topic:

Genetic Modification Of Crop Seeds Are Unethical And Should Be Stopped Immediately”.

In other words: "Changing Nature is unethical and should be stopped at once". How does that sound? Unconvincing I would say.

Stopping GM Research and Production immediately goes against

* Freedom of responsible Scientific research
* A possibility to find solutions for third world hunger and malnutrition
* Free Trade

Banning GM Crop Seeds immediately can therefore not be considered a serious and viable or even realistic solution.

The solution is: Continue to research and produce GM Foods, but with care and regulation.

Continue to Progress and Learn, but handle new advancements with Care.

Thank you for reading. I also thank MemoryShock for his work on the Debate Forum. . I thank the judges for taking the timeI thank the Ragster for the Challenge.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the patience in awaiting this judgment. Without further aduiex, Skyfloating will advance to Round Three. The judges comments...



Ragster V Skyfloating

Hi *Removal Of First Name*, here's my judgement:

ragster made a reasonable start, and made a few good arguments against GM, but as the debate progressed, he was unable to back them up with any real evidence, and instead, relied on repeating the same assetions made in his opening statement - a good position which could have been better defended was instead repetitious and didn't inform the reader to any great extent

I would have liked to see ragster make more of the possible dangers which are alleged about GM and spin his rhetoric around that - something which he seemed to attempt and then abandon.

All in all, ragster failed to convince me with any of his points, particularly with regards to the proliferation of GM and possible misuse of the technology regarding both its usage and its pricing/availability.

Skyfloating made a good opening case, and stuck to his guns very well, completely negating the points made by ragster, and in some cases turning them around very nicely.
Although Skyfloating produced less evidence and fewer links, his stronger use of rhetoric and his ability to negate his opponents points by use of good clear arguments made him the clear winner.

It was a brave and gutsy move in his closing statement to say that he had been a believer in his opponents stance before the debate began - but for me, that was just the icing on the cake, as the debate had been clearly won in the first exchanges.

I make Skyfloating the winner by a fairly comfortable margin.




This debate was on a topic that I got the opportunity to argue with several others about one evening in an after-school college prep course some 7 years ago. I'm glad that I was asked to judge this debate.

First of all, I'd like to thank both ragster and Skyfloating for their taking the time to grace us, the membership, with this wonderful debate. Another thank you goes to Memoryshock, whose tireless efforts in this Debate Forum are second to none other than The Vagabond himself. Good job guys.

ragster,

You had a hard side to defend, and it makes it even harder when there's not much substantiating evidence to support your side. Throughout this debate, you relied on a lot of supposition and speculation, with no real evidence until your third reply.

This evidence helped to bolster your side temporarily, but it seemed to fail to back up your side when faced with the reality of what was being debated.


Skyfloating,

The side of the debate that you were given was a bit easier to defend than ragster's was, but it still had it's own challenges. You had a few more supporting sources that illustrated your points well, and you made a seemingly convincing argument to at least continue research on Genetically modifying plants and other organisms for our exploitation.

While I don't agree with all of the source material provided, I found the majority of it to be upstanding and supportive. Because of this, your argument seemed to have more substance to me.

It is with this that I state that I feel as though Skyfloating made the more convincing argument, and deserves the win here.

ragster, you had a hard side to fight, and I definitely hope that you don't give up on the Debate forum. You're a natural!!


Skyfloating, that was a well-fought win there. Good job!!



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 01:26 PM
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awesome debate!

great job skyfloating

an thanks to judges and memoryshock for doing this all

good luck skyfloating on the next rounds!




posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 01:27 PM
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ragster





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