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Old 02-24-2011, 01:56 PM   #17
A Bee's Best Friend
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA

Something interesting to read.
Assessing Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms | Genetics Society of America

From the viewpoint of geneticists, reduction in genetic diversity of crop plants, for whatever reason, can increase the risk of invasion by a single virulent pathogen. Solutions to the problem of loss of genetic diversity, which are not unique to GMOs, are quite distinct from the possible solutions for organisms believed to pose a direct threat to us or to the environment. There is nothing about GMOs, per se, that limits the genetic diversity of food crops, and it is possible that heirloom strains could be revived with this technology.
It is important, however, to keep in mind that it is not the method of introducing foreign genes by molecular techniques per se that is likely to make a given GMO different from anything that might have appeared or has appeared naturally, but the nature of the specific change that is made. Therefore, a scientifically valid evaluation of risks (and benefits) needs to be tailored to the specific plant and/or product that is under consideration; the properties of one GMO are unlikely to be shared by another. Much of the concern by scientists about labeling reflects the emphasis that has been placed on every GMO, that is, on the method of construction per se, an issue which is not scientifically supportable. Labeling to indicate significant changes in the composition of the final product, independent of the method of construction, would be a scientifically valid approach to this issue, and indeed is currently required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson
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