QWould growing GMOs in a highly contained, enclosed environment be the ethical, scientific and responsible thing to do for the first 100 years or so, or do you consider this planet to be an open laboratory where you're entitled to do anything you want, whe

Would growing GMOs in a highly contained, enclosed environment be the ethical, scientific and responsible thing to do for the first 100 years or so, or do you consider this planet to be an open laboratory where you're entitled to do anything you want, whether or not you've involved Earth's other inhabitants in that decision?

AExpert Answer

Humans have been manipulating their own environment and that of other species closely related to them for thousands of years. These changes have given rise to domesticated and human-dependent animal species, such as cows and sheep, as well as the many varieties of dogs and cats. In the same manner, most agricultural food crops are very different from their “wild” ancestors because of human intervention. Intervention in the domestication of food crops has given rise to higher-yield, less toxic and more nutritious varieties, as well as giving corn kernels a preferred yellow color, orange carrots and multiple citrus fruit crosses with a variety of tastes.
 
In many ways, modern biotechnology is just a continuation of a process that started over 4,000 years ago with the first attempts to domesticate and adapt crop plants, and it is a natural extension of the plant breeder’s toolkit. Novel plant varieties developed by biotechnology are in the vast majority of characteristics identical to already domesticated varieties and are extensively tested to ensure nontoxicity, non-allergenicity and lack of environmental effect. In fact, GMO plants and food derived from them are among the most extensively tested products ever. When a GMO plant is approved as safe by the regulatory authority in a any given country, it means that reputable scientists have examined the data, and that there is no reason that the product should be treated differently from any other approved and registered crop variety.

Posted on August 15, 2017
GMO crops are not "banned" in any countries around the world in the normal sense of that word. Usually when something is banned for consumption, etc., it is because some problem emerged that needed a response. The history of regulation for biotech crops is quite different in that there were regulatory approval processes developed long before any such crops were commercialized. The goal was to try to anticipate any potential health or environmental issues and to make... Read More
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Posted on February 9, 2017
A species is defined by the ability to reproduce viable offspring, so any two plants within a species generally have the potential to cross pollinate. Like any good successful mating, it requires the union of male and female contributions at the right time, same place. So absolutely, GE crops have the potential to cross with non-GE crops of the same species—if they manage to get it on through time and space.    So the rules that apply to dogs and teenagers also apply to... Read More
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Posted on March 2, 2017
A species is defined by the ability to reproduce viable offspring, so any two plants within a species generally have the potential to cross pollinate. Like any good successful mating, it requires the union of male and female contributions at the right time, same place. So absolutely, GE crops have the potential to cross with non-GE crops of the same species—if they manage to get it on through time and space.    So the rules that apply to dogs and teenagers also apply to... Read More
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