If GMOs are so bad, then why were they created in the first place?

I personally am pro-GMO because of all the benefits I have read about, and how the studies saying that they are bad are not accurate.

yeah, yeah I could be wrong blah blah blah, but that s besides the point.

Let s pretend that GMOs are actually as horrible and abominable as some sources say they are. Why were they created if they are so bad? Why bother?

5 Answers

  • Ian
    Lv 6
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Predictable answers about how we have been doing this for thousands of years.

    No we haven't. For thousands of years crops diversified into landraces. It's not clear how much of this was deliberate human intervention. IMO it was mostly evolution, adaptation to man made environments, such as ploughed, fertilised fields.

    Since WW2 centralised plant breeding and legal regulations (national seed lists etc. which make most non GM varieties illegal) has been narrowing crop diversity at an alarming rate in a misguided attempt to create perfect plants based on an outdated model of evolution. This is precisely the opposite of what has been going on for thousands of years. It's been claimed that this has improved crop yields but take away the fertilisers, the yields of modern varieties are no better than the older ones, often worse in fact. We are producing more food mainly because we are putting more fossil fuel energy into growing food and mining soil faster than ever before. The contribution of genetics has been negligible. It gave us Southern Leaf Blight in the 1970's. Google it. Massive crop failure caused by "faster breeding of genetically improved crops".

    GMO's were created when plant breeders started to wake up to the fact that they never would produce perfect crops, breeding was an ongoing process which needed diversity. Which they didn't have any more because of their own hubris. So in desperation they attempted to bring in new diversity from other species.

    Google the red queen hypothesis. It says that complex organisms aren't evolving to perfection they are running just to stand still, continually evolving and changing to keep up with the rapidly evolving pests and diseases.

    Now listen to Monsanto declare that they have found A gene for disease resistance and they are going to save the world by pursuading/forcing every farmer to grow the same variety. Bugs love uniform monocultures.

    When it comes to drought and salt tolerance, breeders have recently announced that conventional breeding has potential (the genes they need are in old and rare crop varieties in danger of extinction), but GM tech is going nowhere, despite massive investment. Expect more announcements like this in future.

    In the case of maize, hybrids were no longer enough to stop farmers saving seed as some peasants were cutting their seed bills by backcrossing (yeah I bet you thought hybridisation was done to improve the crop. Nope, it's all about the money, getting customers to stop saving seed). Legal precedents said that natural organisms and conventionally bred crops couldn't be patented, but genetically modified ones could. So much for substantial equivalence! Nice to know that Monsanto backed down on terminator technology, they still sue farmers who save seed.

    Everything they told you about GM crops being higher yielding, needing less chemicals, disease resistant etc. All BS.

    I have a PhD in Agricultural biology, years of experience farming and running a seedbank, I also worked for the UK government analysing gene flow in GM canola

    Also ever wondered why no one repeated Dr. Arpad Pusztai's experiments instead of slandering a top expert as an incompetent crank? It's the scientific way after all. The answer is no one could. Before anyone could try the potatoes were burned and all documentation about their modification shredded. Something to hide? This is politics, not science.

  • 6 years ago

    Most GMO approaches use much the same techniques as nature does -- it splices in characteristics that enhance the chances of survival of a species.

    The problem is that, it sounds a bit like Frankenstein and his creation of life -- a bit of one thing there, another hers, a third somewhere in-between. Which brings up "stories" like putting frog genes into potatoes or cereals. Most people get turned off by the idea, whether it's true or not. Since the :"genes" can come from "unclean things" -- look up the various religious food prohibition rules (Jews and Middle Eastern religions suggest that pork is unclean, but there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other rules and regulations that say what humans should eat and what they should not eat.

    So, religious-wise, foods that are GMO may not be "kosher" or "halal" or, whatever term someone wants to use. And no one would know which genes are those that came from "the unclean". Or, in another way, suppose you're allergic to something, and genes from that something are in everything you can buy, with no possible warning that it's there....

    Why were they created? Well, we've been breeding livestock for 10,000 or more years. And doing the same with crops, from wheat through rye through, whatever. That's about finding the characteristics that best suit the farming for our food -- disease and toxin-tolerant, and anything that will increase the amount of food we can generate in seasons.

    The rest is just hysteria -- scare tactics to stop development of anything not approved by the religious powers that be.

  • 6 years ago

    They were created to improve the quality of food being pest resistant and in able to produce the amount of food a country needs to survive.

    Since most countries have banned field burning (the best way to get rid of destructive pests and the best to renew the soil) .... destructive pests are on the rise. If a country needs tons of food to feed it's citizens - then the farmer must come up way to produce at high quantities, safe edible foods with no destructive pests.

    Farmers have been doing this for generations with no problems. It has only been lately, when someone accidently discovered how the high food quantities were able to exist, that they decided to complain and cause problems. A country can NOT feed ALL of it's citizens without getting rid of destructive pests.

    American farmers ALREADY abide by GMO standards but some idiot decided that wasn't enough and demanded additional costly repetitive steps be taken without thinking about the outcome.

  • 6 years ago

    Oh for heavens sake. Man has been genetically modifying food since he first cleared a field for seed. GMO food is safe and beneficial and I'd rather pay those prices than what one pays for an insect-ridden, stunted, 'heirloom' tomato.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    It's like anything. At the time it was invented and approved for use, they didn't know the long-term effects or they didn't have the science and information they have now.

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