I did not make that up, though I'll admit that I did mis-remember the magnitude of the difference. I thought it was more than a single percentage point. Would have been more accurate to say that they were essentially equal, instead of one being stronger than the other. Doesn't really change my point much 88 and 89%
are both pretty high. BSE
- Has nothing at all to do with GMO. No GMO has ever inserted a prion protein into a plant so BSE and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (Kuru, CJD, and variant CJD in humans; chronic wasting disease in deer, etc.) are not relevant. EXCEPT
that some researchers have developed a gene knock-out strain of cattle that does not contain the gene for the prion protein in the first place. Clearly a GMO that could make food safer. Thalidomide
- lots of chemicals can affect fetal development by interfering with the genome. That's why multigenerational genotoxicity studies in lab animals are part of the normal battery of tests to which a GMO are subjected before they can be considered safe. Generation interval for humans (disregarding the moral issues raised by testing on humans) is measured in decades. Generation interval in mice is measured in weeks. We can therefore look at multi-generational outcomes, with controlled doses, much more quickly and thus make decisions as to the safety of a new GMO in years instead of decades.
I've got no idea what you were getting at with regard to the jellyfish gene. All GMO at this point are based on well characterized single gene traits. The presence or absence of a single gene, producing a single protein, which performs a single well characterized action. It's not like companies are inserting random DNA segments to see what happens (that's what viruses do every day BTW). It is certainly *possible* that something could go wrong, which is why companies perform extensive internal testing before they decide to seek regulatory approval. The pipeline for developing gene traits is ~ 10 years from first concept to commercial approval, with the majority of that being internal testing. It's not like a new gene is discovered today and in seeds next year for sale.
Finally, you are essentially advocating infinite testing, which is both impractical and unnecessary. Testing under all possible permutations, no matter how similar they may be to permutations already tested. That is not science, that is paralysis based on irrationally high fear. This kind of testing is not really a call for testing, but a backhanded way to prevent approval. To pull out the tired old automobile analogy, cars kill thousands of people every year in the US yet we don't DEMAND that auto manufacturers make a perfectly safe car. We don't call for them to be tested on every single road in American at every single conceivable speed. Instead we've developed a battery of safety tests that we believe are highly predictive of the ultimate safety of a car. We simulate specific driving conditions and specific accident conditions, and base assessments on that. The same thing is done for GMO crops, with a much better success record thus far since no death or harm has ever been attributed to consumption of GMO food. Ironically, the same cannot be said for non-GMO organic foods.