What Would It Take?

A few weeks ago Ken Ham ‘the creationist’ and Bill Nye ‘the science guy’ had a debate. The subject of the debate was ‘is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?’ During the Q&A session afterward, they were both asked a question asking them what it would take to change their mind. This made me think of people on opposing sides on the subject of GMOs; pro, con, or on the fence. It was a brilliant question, and one that should be asked in every debate.

Following the vein of the question, I’d like to ask to you, my readers, whichever side of the GMO fence you sit on: what would it take to change your mind that the opposing side is correct?

To be more specific:

If you are against GMO use: what would it take to convince you, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the currently approved GMOs are safe?

If you are for GMO use: what would it take to convince you, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the currently approved GMOs are dangerous?

Let me know in the comments below…



    Second: I’m all for GMO’s, but (as we’ve discussed before) i’d like them to be confined to sealed off vertical farms.

  2. I am in the pro-transgenic camp. For me to lose faith in them as being as safe as their no–transgenic counterpart would take a sizable double-blind feeding study. Most importantly, the researchers studying/interpreting the data would not know which treatment beyond a designation (such as A, B, C, D…). If transgenic crops/animals are found to be more dangerous, I would change my mind.
    Show me the data.

  3. …what would it take to convince you, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the currently approved GMOs are dangerous?


    Kidding, of course. But what I really mean is that you’d have to wipe an extensive database of reading peer-reviewed scientific material out of my head (and I store a lot on my mental hard drive). Because we have the data that the currently approved GMOs are safe.

    You’d also have to wipe out my knowledge of the biomedical research system and community. I know that every lab animal in the US has been fed GMOs for over a decade. That means any animal that is a “control” that shows no evidence of harm in any biomedical research would have to have been a lie, right? If so, you’d also have to wipe my brain of any experience with the researchers and technicians in the scientific community–because i know they wouldn’t all be in on some giant conspiracy to cover up giant tumors on control mice and rats around the world.

    Besides that, then I’d need to have all the new evidence unearthed that demonstrates this purported harm. Then I’d need Dan Brown to write a novel about the whole thing…wait, no…nevermind that part.


  4. I couldn’t have said it better myself. But one step further… There would have to MASS amnesia on the part science, more broadly – individuals and institutions. Then there would have to be mounds of new evidence that would derail/unseat the current scale and scope of evidence out there that attests to the safety of GMOs.

  5. Clear evidence of harm. Not anecdotes or fake photos or so-called green groups. I would need science-based, peer reviewed data, and a lot of it to change my mind. I think also that the laws of physics would need to change for this to happen;)

  6. First I would need to see an reasonable scientifically defensible hypothesis of why GE crop derived food might be dangerous (haven’t seen one yet). Then I would have to see properly controlled and internationally acceptable experimental data that demonstrate the potential harm. then those results would have to be repeated by another group using the same procedures. Then I would have to see the thousands of properly done research projects redone with different results to overturn the overwhelmingly positive opinions on the safety of GE crops and derived foods by world experts.

    Should I start holding my breath ?

  7. That’s a hard question for me. I think of GM as a technique not a ‘thing’. So, if I saw respected papers (with solid experimental techniques and statistical analyses) about a particular transgenic crop that showed harm, with the results repeated multiple times and agreed upon by the scientific community – I would accept that *that particular* crop was potentially harmful and shouldn’t be cultivated. But that wouldn’t denounce the process of genetic engineering, only that crop. I’m not actually sure what I’d need to see to change my mind about the process. If it was shown as inherently harmful, wouldn’t it make a lot of what we know about selective breeding and recombination seem doubtful? What would that imply about the risks of conventional breeding, with all its unknowns?
    “Replicants are like any other machine. They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.”

  8. I’m a bit late to this and have nothing beyond what has already been mentioned – except to say that perhaps the anti-gmo people aren’t in the habit of checking out blogs such as this (it’s too challenging and unlikely to be promoted amongst the activist community) so it’s not really surprising if the self-selecting participants are all pro GMO technology.

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