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 November 17, 2017
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Posted on November 10, 2017
GMOs can affect the environment in many ways, and this response discusses the many ways in which GMOs can benefit the environment and the impact GM crops have on the environment. The data in this response from Brookes and Barfoot is from 2013, updated information can be found in their most recent report here.   Additionally, these infographics are helpful in explaining how GMOs can help preserve the habitat and H2O, protect the environment and improve soil health.   Kevin Folta,... Read More
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Posted on November 17, 2017
The topic of labeling can be discussed in many different ways. We hope the below information on labeling GM food addresses your question.   The issue of GMO labeling, the consumer choice and logistical impacts of labeling genetically engineered food is discussed in this response.   Scott Kohne, NAFTA market acceptance manager for the Seeds Unit at Bayer, explains the difference between labeling in different countries vs. labeling GMO products in the U.S. Read his full response... Read More
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