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Talk:Genetically modified organism

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MammalsEdit

There's also research going on towards creating the optimal human (ie with a perfect human genome). Such a person would not have any genetic disorders, and could theoretically be cloned. Perhaps of intrest to be mentioned in the article:

KVDP (talk) 08:21, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Environmental IssuesEdit

Genetically modified organisms are very dangerous to the environment. With all of the chemicals that are being put onto the plants are damaging the environment. There are people who say that the herbicides are not supposed to be found into the environment. Studies have shown that there are traces of herbicides in the ground. The chemicals are also causing a high toxicity to the plants and to the environment. With everything that we as humans are doing to create more nutrient filled plants and more plants, is causing more damage than helping. With GMOs, people should stop using them and getting people to refuse to eating them. GMOs are not only bad for the environment, but also human intake. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ah0114 (talkcontribs) 03:48, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

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What about a List of genetically modified organisms?Edit

What do you think of creating (or helping out with) a List of genetically modified organisms (or with a similar title) that's intended to contain a list of all known genetically modified organisms?

With all I mean really anything whose genetic code was modified artificially − from crops to plants, animals, humans and bacteria.

Some subsections would just be a link to another list. Such as (potentially) List of varieties of genetically modified maize and List of genetically modified crops.
Some would or could not list all the organisms individually but various ranges / subcategories of it if it doesn't make much sense to list them individually for whatever reason.
But its main focus/intend would be notable individual organisms such as Ice-minus bacteria and Amflora.

I also posted this at the talk page of genetic engineering and forwarded users there to come here to discuss.

--Fixuture (talk) 09:15, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

I am not sure what utility this would serve? There are probably thousands of genetically modified organism that are used for research purposes or are in various stages of development. There are also lots of modified bacteria used in industry, but outside them there are currently very few commercially available ones that are not covered by List of genetically modified crops (Glofish and AquAdvantage salmon spring to mind). Template:Genetic engineering covers most of these pretty well. AIRcorn (talk) 21:49, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
@Aircorn: Well for tracking purposes. For a centralized place for information of the existing genetically modified organisms - e.g. for identification of the different types and uses or potential risky ones as well as new ones. Also one can't expect people to do journalism on gm organisms yet unknown to the public when said is not even informed on the already disclosed existing ones etc. --Fixuture (talk) 22:28, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Would a category be better? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:32, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
What Aircorn mentioned is the reason why a list wouldn't work because it would get into WP:INDISCRIMINATE outside of crops. Best to just describe what GM organisms are used for in this article whether it's research purposes, agricultural use, pharmaceuticals, etc. Better to describe in this article whatever achieves WP:DUE. I agree with Trypto above that a category is the best way to go on this. Kingofaces43 (talk) 22:37, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
At this point, I think I'm convinced that a new list page would not be particularly useful. But thanks for thinking of the suggestion. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:39, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
@Tryptofish: & @Kingofaces43: Too bad. Maybe the list could be shortened somehow (e.g. summaries) so that it wouldn't be a very long indescriminate list? A category doesn't really work as most GMOs don't have their own article on Wikipedia. Also there already is Category:Genetically modified organisms which however also contains general articles about the topic and articles about the various types of GMOs (which only might contain some examples in their article bodies). --Fixuture (talk) 17:22, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
The problem you are describing in arbitrarily selecting what makes it into the list is why such a list would fail WP:GNG, or specifically WP:LISTN. If a particular type of GMO is of sufficient WP:WEIGHT according to sources, that would be reason to include mention of it at this article with a short write-up. Remember that this is an encyclopedia. Our goal here isn't to list all or most examples of GMOs, but rather write about the noteworthy ones within relevant articles. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:25, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

GM cattle, modified to improve digestionEdit

Do these exist ? See Talk:Environmental_impact_of_meat_production KVDP (talk) 14:51, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

@KVDP: Generally, WP:Reference desk is the place to ask general questions, as opposed to discussing improvement of this page. For our purposes here, it depends on whether there are reliable sources about GM cattle. (You could try your preferred search engine.) I haven't looked, but I suspect not. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:37, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 March 2017Edit

Change "In the US, by 2014, 94% of the planted area of soybeans, 96% of cotton and 93% of corn were genetically modified varieties." to "In the US, by 2014, 94% of soybean varieties, 96% of cotton varieties and 93% of corn varieties were genetically modified."

The source clearly states that the percentages in the excel are a percentage of varieties, not acreage: "Many people are interested in information about global genetically engineered (GE) acreage. USDA does not collect these data." Countraymond (talk) 21:02, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

I looked carefully at the source. Insofar as I can tell, the sentence that you quote is about how USDA collects data for the US, but not for the rest of the world, ie, "global[ly]". The first spreadsheet in the source actually labels the data as "acreage". It also would not make sense that the data would be as percentages of all varieties, because it would be difficult to quantify the true total number of varieties that might be found throughout the world – after all, it's not just a matter of counting the items for sale in a seed catalog. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:14, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 March 2017Edit

Hello, this is the current text that I suggest be changed:

"A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism). GMOs are used to produce many medications and genetically modified foods and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, 'living modified organism', defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, "any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology").

A more specifically defined type of GMO is a "transgenic organism." This is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered by the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism. This should not be confused with the more general way in which "GMO" is used to classify genetically altered organisms, as typically GMOs are organisms whose genetic makeup has been altered without the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism."

Reasoning for Suggested Edit: The terms "GMO", "genetically engineered", and "transgenic" are not interchangeable, as they mean separate things. Several sources, listed below, choose to make a distinction between the term "GMO" and "Transgenic". - A GMO is any organism in which a modification to the DNA has occurred. This means spontaneous mutations that occur in the wild, cross pollination, and genetic engineering are all methods by which modifications to DNA can occur. GMOs can occur in nature or be man-made. - A genetically engineered organism is an organism that has had foreign DNA added, native DNA removed, or native DNA added through the use of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering can be used to move DNA between related species (cisgenic) or to delete DNA within an organism. In either of these scenarios, no foreign DNA is being added to the organism and therefore it cannot be considered "transgenic", but the organism has been genetically engineered. - A transgenic organism specifically refers to an organism whose genome contains foreign DNA from an unrelated species that was introduced through the use of genetic engineering.

So all transgenic organisms are GMOs, but not all GMOs are transgenic organisms, despite the misuse of the terms by the public and the media.

The suggested edit is as follows:

"A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered either through natural hybridization, natural mutation, selective breeding, mutation breeding, or through genetic engineering. GMOs are used to produce many medications and genetically modified foods and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, 'living modified organism', defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, "any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology").

A more specifically defined type of GMO is a "transgenic organism." This is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered by the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism. The term "transgenic organism" is not synonymous with the term "GMO" as not all genetically modified organisms are transgenic, that is, not all genetically modified organisms contain DNA from unrelated species."

Sources:

North Carolina State Extension Service: https://agbiotech.ces.ncsu.edu/q1-what-is-the-difference-between-genetically-modified-organisms-and-genetically-engineered-organisms-we-seem-to-use-the-terms-interchangeably/

GMO Answers: https://gmoanswers.com/ask/whats-difference-between-transgenic-and-genetically-modified

United States Department of Agriculture Glossary of Biotechnology Terms: https://www.usda.gov/topics/biotechnology/biotechnology-glossary

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report Genetically Engineered Crops - Experiences and Prospects (free download) glossary on page 579 https://nas-sites.org/ge-crops/ Jwindha (talk) 14:30, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Part of the problem is that imprecise term GMO is used even in scientific papers (though I know quite a few professors who actively discourage that in peer-review). We would need to pull more sources together than this from other regulatory agencies, etc. to describe the scientific definition, but also deal with how the public uses the term GMO versus what it means in reality. It would actually be quite a bit of work to tackle this subject with more than just this edit. Kingofaces43 (talk) 15:15, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

No such thing as "unrelated organisms"Edit

"...an unrelated organism" I'm not sure what that means, or whether it is a meaningful distinction, as all (or possibly most all) organisms on Earth are related. You can talk about "degree of relationship" defined by some criteria indicating generations of separation, such as the percentage of DNA pairs in common, but you cannot accurately say that any two organisms on Earth are "unrelated". Referring to organisms as unrelated flies in the face of everything that we currently understand about evolution of life on Earth. Furthermore, the same molecular engineering techniques can be used to transfer genes between naturally interbreeding organisms (closely related, same species, same population, even siblings), using the same techniques as between organisms that don't normally breed or interact in nature. More generally, the term Genetically Modified Organism, doesn't really distinguish the technology of molecular engineering, as there is no existing genetically unmodified organism, modification being the essence of evolution; and that every cultivar, Heritage or GMO, is "humanly modified," either intentionally or unintentionally (the moment humans start harvesting a plant or animal, they're modifying the genetic characteristic of that organism). --Catrachos (talk) 03:41, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

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Fresh review which states "no scientific consensus" over the GMO safetyEdit

There is fresh review in Food and Chemical Toxicology Aristidis M.Tsatsakis et al. Impact on environment, ecosystem, diversity and health from culturing and using GMOs as feed and food.

It states "It is clear that the issue regarding toxicity of GM food and feed is not over and a consensus has not appeared" "The current range of toxicity tests present many limitations such as limited period of exposure and are strictly case specific. ... In such a situation, the current range of testing should be sufficiently criticized ". .... "It is also clearly necessary to focus the attention of policy makers, regulatory authorities, governments, and GM-releasing companies on the need to examine and authenticate the possible long term unexplored effects, risks and damages to ecosystems, biodiversity, and health prior to the release of any GM food or feed. Labeling should be mandatory and should be considered as a basic consumer right "

So I think current mention in gmo-related articles about consensus is incorrect Cathry (talk) 17:58, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

A handful of researchers publishing against consensus doesn't invalidate it. That's not how scientific consensus works. Their concerns may be valid, but giving undue weight to specific viewpoints in the encyclopedia isn't neutral. The #Controversy section does note on some things, like that each GM food needs to be tested and that notable organizations (including the Union of Concerned Scientists) aren't completely "convinced". – Rhinopias (talk) 18:25, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Thank you for bringing this source forward. As you can see from the notice at the top of this talk page, there are very specific rules that must be followed in the event that any of the language about this issue might undergo a change. I've looked at the paper abstract, and it appears to be to be in a legitimate scientific journal, and the abstract says very clearly that the authors reject the idea that there is a scientific consensus. I did a superficial check of the author affiliations, and they seem to be located at universities, albeit minor ones in mostly third world countries. Here are the websites of the first author [8], second author [9], and senior (last) author [10]. I don't know anything about their "political" (for lack of a better word that I can think of) views about GMOs. What do other editors think? Does this source rise to the level of requiring a revision? --Tryptofish (talk) 18:39, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
PS: The article appears to cover a lot of areas other than safety as food, such as environmental effects, that are distinct from the page content that is specifically about the safety of eating these crops, so I think we need to go past the paywall to assess exactly where the authors do or do not agree with the scientific consensus. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:46, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Article available at ResearchGate. Cathry (talk) 18:57, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
The institutions the authors are associated with is likely because of the funding for the research, which apparently is a grant from the Korea Food & Drug Administration and also support from the Russian Scientific Foundation. I don't think that we can judge the political motivations of researchers and assume they are reflected in peer-reviewed publications they are participating in, because that undermines the legitimacy of scientific publications. (Obviously, unless they have clear agendas that they have been publicly criticized for and their publications have been retracted as in these shenanigans.)
The article seems to be primarily about environmental concerns, however, the last sentence of the conclusion is surprisingly "Labeling should be mandatory and should be considered as a basic consumer right.":118 I don't see any actual aggregations of data in this (just regulatory things), but I am not a researcher in this field so I don't have the authority to claim whether or not their conclusions are supported.
Either way, this publication is very doubtfully going to be significant enough—being so small in scope in comparison—to draw enough support to alter the summarized text from the RfC. – Rhinopias (talk) 19:10, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
There is another review stating clearly about no scientific consensus - Sheldon Krimsky. An Illusory Consensus behind GMO Health Assessment It is mentioned in current wording references, but is hidden. And there are other publications which don't use word "consensus", but demand more long-term research or/and reject "substantial equivalence concept". For example. I.M.Zdziarski et al. M crops and the rat digestive tract: A critical review Cathry (talk) 19:32, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── This isn't the forum for general discussion—see #Top. Your original proposition with the creation of this section was related the article, but since no changes can be made without another RfC, this discussion isn't going to go anywhere. – Rhinopias (talk) 19:44, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Rhinopias for the link to the full PDF of the article. I've read it, and I share your opinion that this does not rise to the level of having a new RfC. The authors' conclusion begins: Collectively, the studies cited in this review clearly indicate that GM crops are prospering and have the potential to spread across the globe. The studies mention no direct harm to either human or animal health as a consequence of the consumption of GM food or feed. However, there remain concerns regarding the long-term usage of GM food and feed. Evidence presented indicating damage to the environment and biodiversity gives considerable grounds for concern, particularly with regard to the consequences of gene flow. There really is nothing new here, for our purposes. Issues of the environment and gene flow are unrelated to the consensus language, and are already well-covered on this page. Concerns about the need for more long-term tox studies are already covered on the page, and the authors agree with the scientific consensus about the lack of acute safety issues. That leaves us simply with the catchy language about "The 'consensus' over the GM safety is a falsely perpetuated construct" in the abstract, and the full text shows that the authors hold a more nuanced view than that, so it would be cherry-picking for us to change the page on that basis.
I think that for us to open up a major revision process, there would have to be a statement by the authors that new evidence has come forward to alter the scientific position on acute food safety, and/or a follow-up analysis of the report by a major authority such as the WHO saying that the previous scientific consensus now needs to be reconsidered. We do not have that. And as for the Krimsky opinion piece, it's already cited in the consensus language. And if we were to undertake a major revision, we would need to update the literature as a whole, including the Domingo re-analysis that came out just as the RfC was ending, in which Domingo said that although the earlier analysis (cited on the page) said more studies were needed, subsequent studies had provided enough evidence to conclude that acute food effects are safe. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:48, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Domingo don't said this "subsequent studies had provided enough evidence ", he said nearly opposite. Cathry (talk) 22:08, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Not that it's critical at this point, but you are thinking about [11], whereas I was talking about the subsequent reassessment: [12]. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:17, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I thinking about latest 2016 study - he states "Long-term studies on the safety and the health effects of GM plants are still necessary." and rejects substantial equivalence concept. Cathry (talk) 22:37, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
And what he says about long-term studies is the same thing as the scientific consensus (see also: Wikipedia:Cherrypicking). --Tryptofish (talk) 23:07, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
But is not the thing in wikipedia articles, which states " currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk" If consensus states "long-term studies are nesessary" (and they cover only few of available varieties at this moment) it is impossible to state "no greater risk". Cathry (talk) 23:43, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying – I promise you that I really do. And I understand the logical aspect of it. But there is a difference between "longer studies are needed in order to have a complete scientific understanding, but based upon everything that we know now, scientists believe that there is no greater risk", which is what the sources tell us, and "longer studies are needed because it looks like acute studies might be showing danger", which is not the case. We can only go with the source material that we have now. I suspect that if longer studies start coming out that show long-term health hazards from eating GMO crops, the community will decide to revise the page, but that hasn't happened yet. And unless we have a specific proposal to change this content now, via a major RfC, discussing it here is WP:NOTFORUM. But I also sincerely appreciate your pointing out this new potential source. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:58, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Domingo and many other scientists do not say they "believe that there is no greater risk". Actually some scientists say "90-day studies" and "substantial equivalence concept" are sufficient, they don't want long-term studies at all. But other scientists state long-term studies and more thorough chemical analysis are necessary to make any conclusions Cathry (talk) 00:25, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment There is nothing really new in this review (i.e. emphasising the Pusztai and Seralini experiments and asking for more long term testing) that requires us to add or change anything here regarding the consensus. It could possibly replace or be added to the Krimsky footnote. We should probably look at updating Domingo first though. AIRcorn (talk) 06:01, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
    Domingo did not change his view from 2011. But I think it is not adequate to hide him and Crimsky reviews in reference. Cathry (talk) 13:57, 1 October 2017 (UTC)iew

This article makes out GMOs to have many pros and few cons, The cons are important to emphasis as well because without them the article seems to have a borderline pro GMO feel to it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 8.41.197.251 (talk) 18:16, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

That seems to be advocating for a false sense of balance, that we must give more attention to whatever cons there are, no matter how trivial, because there are strong positives. It would be an inappropriate way to skew the article to try to make everything appear balanced. (Can you imagine being the editor who tries to come up with enough positive aspects for, say, cancer that it balances out the negatives?) --Nat Gertler (talk) 23:27, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

GMO foodsEdit

To the moderator of this page, please review the information below. Retain or discard as you see fit. seemed that some clarification was needed. I have a scientific back ground and a lot of non science people do not understand the pros and cons presented below.

It appears that the definition of GMO is rather narrow. Representing only lab style genetic engineering. aside from creating some fear, it also subverts the genetic engineering that's been going on for thousands of years through cross breeding. While "engineering" may produce quicker results, and is more flexible in the crossing of similar and non similar organisms. it should be noted that the cross breeding of food and animals that has gone on for 1000s of years has created genetically modified fruits vegetables farm animals and pets. Also, genetic modification through cross breeding is not always "safe" for the consumer or the organism. one may simply look at a wild strawberry vs a store strawberry to see the effect of cross breeding. Carrots, pumpkins, seedless fruits, cows, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, and many more have all been "genetically modified" through cross breeding. It would seem the public should understand that genetic modification has been gong on for a long time, that the difference is speed of the cycle, and the ability to "splice in genes from dissimilar species. Certainly "gene engineering" is a faster and more dangerous process, this does not mean that the slower less dangerous "cross breeding" process is not with out dangers and problems. some cross breeding has involved "mixing" of species, Splake, Tiger musky, are 2 examples. these fish have been released in to the environment with little regard for the harm to native species they may cause. The long and short of my comments are: we have been playing games with the genetics of our food sources for 1000s of years, that care should be taken to help people understand both methods represent danger, mistakes, and some good, such as having a lot of food to eat! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2605:A000:AFC0:10:19D3:D789:75CD:E52F (talk) 15:02, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for your interest. Not a moderator, but I edit around this area. This has come up before and consenus is that we use the narrower definition of genetic engineering here. This is mostly supported by modern reliable sources that term genetc engineering and gentically modified organisms this way. There is merit to including articficial selection, cross breeding, polyploidy, and even mutigenisis and cloning as historical aspects or supplementary information of gentic engineering. In fact there is a section dedicated to this at History of genetic engineering#Agriculture. This article, although not terribly well developed, incudes a paragraph referencing this and links to the main history article. As to saftey aspects between genetic engineering vs other genetic manipulation techniques there is scope to include this here, in Genetically modified food controversies, Regulation of genetic engineering and other articles, but we must be careful of keeping stuff WP:due and not going off into WP:coatracks. It used to be a messy area to edit in, but has died down somewhat now so feel free to sign up an add information yourself if you wish. AIRcorn (talk) 22:47, 2 June 2018 (UTC)
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