Talk:Genetically modified organism

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content added today to GM crops section[edit]

today in this dif, the following content was added by User:CFredkin: "In the 17 years since genetically modified crops were first commercialized, people have consumed billions of meals containing genetically modified foods and not one problem has been documented. In addition, genetically modified crops have been studied extensively by respected scientific organizations who have determined that genetically modified crops are safe for humans and positive for the environment.(ref name="Montagu">Marc Van Montagu (October 22, 2013). "The Irrational Fear of GM Food". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 28, 2013. </ref)" (ref formatting intentionally broken to make ref visible)

This is Ok but redundant content and source, but it does not belong in this section of this article. We have a main article on Genetically modified food controversies and a brief section in each relevant article, taken from the lead of the mani GM food Controversies article. The lead, and each of the sections, make clear that there is a scientific consensus on food-safety of currently marketed GM foods. This article could potentially be used as a source for the scientific consensus statement (although probably not, as we have articles from scientists to make that claim. Happy to discuss! Jytdog (talk) 17:05, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Currently there is no mention of the fact that there is scientific consensus on food safety regarding GM foods in this article.CFredkin (talk) 17:08, 28 October 2013 (UTC) In addition, currently the controversy is mentioned twice in this article - in the GM Crops and Controversy sections. In my opinion, every time the controversy is mentioned a summary of the current scientific thinking/benefits should be provided as well. CFredkin (talk) 17:12, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

I see. We had done what I mentioned above, in other articles in the GM suite - we had just neglected this one. Done now. Thanks for pointing that out! Needs to be edited a bit more to make it more apt to this specific article, but so much that we get dramatically different content. Thanks again! Jytdog (talk) 17:14, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks you for adding content to the Controversy section. However I believe the reference to controversy in the GM Crops section is redundant. If we're going to maintain that redundancy, then I think the scientific consensus should be added there as well.CFredkin (talk) 17:18, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Agreed! Done. Jytdog (talk) 17:25, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much.CFredkin (talk) 17:29, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

addition of "gene splicing" to lead[edit]

Two different IP addresses have tried to add the words "or gene splicing" to the lead, as shown in italics as follows: "A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering or gene splicing techniques. " To the person or persons doing this, please know that gene splicing is simply one form, among many, of genetic engineering techniques. It is not some alternative to genetic engineering, but rather a subset of genetic engineering techniques. The edit makes no sense. Please stop making it. thanks. Jytdog (talk) 22:28, 28 October 2013 (UTC)


Editor Arsenal lb made an edit to the article that was reverted (or rejected actually) by Jinkinson with the summary: "Activist groups are not reliable sources. Take this to talk please".

Although I don't agree with completely removing the sentence:

  • There is no evidence to support the idea that the consumption of approved GM food has a detrimental effect on human health.[1][2][3]

I also believe it should be refactored at least to attribute the statement to the corresponding organization(s) and avoid WP:OR and WP:SYN.

As for Arsenal lb's addition:

  • In October 2013 the European Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibilities released a statement stating, “Claims that there is a consensus among scientific and governmental bodies that GM foods are safe, or that they are no more risky than non-GM foods, are false." [4] The ENSSER also states “The claim that it does exist is misleading and misrepresents the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of opinion among scientists on this issue.” [4]

I would remove the second sentence and leave just the first one in the article. Jinkinson dismissed this organization as an "activist group" but a Google search returns a great deal of WP:RS and I found no evidence to support this claim. Would you care to expand on your comment? Regards. Gaba (talk) 02:32, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

thanks for commenting! i didn't do the revision but i agree with it. quick background - this issue is much like global warming where there is a scientific consensus, and fringe groups who oppose the consensus. it easy to come at it from outside, and be confused. about adding this source and changing this paragraph, this has been discussed.... please see discussion above at Talk:Genetically_modified_organism#Statement_denying_scientific_consensus_-_reverted. happy to talk more but wanted to bring you into the conversation first. Jytdog (talk) 13:48, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Jytdog and thank you for the welcome! Instead of discussing GMOs in general (which we should not as per WP:NOTFORUM) lets just stick to the edits and sources proposed. Regarding the statement "There is no evidence to support the idea that the consumption of approved GM food has a detrimental effect on human health", I could not find such a statement in any of the three sources used. Would you mind pointing me where this is stated? As you know, we can not synthesize knowledge into one fact nor can we use our own knowledge as a source.
As for the edit added by Arsenal lb, the source seems to be a reliable one and the quote he used is substantiated by it. I would just change it a bit:
  • In October 2013 the European Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibilities released a statement stating, "Claims that there is a consensus among scientific and governmental bodies that GM foods are safe, or that they are no more risky than non-GM foods, are false." As of October 30 2013, it had been signed by over 200 academics from around the world of various scientific backgrounds.[5]
If you have any reason as to why this source shouldn't be used, please present it and we can discuss it. I'll await your reply. Regards. Gaba (talk) 15:09, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry the discussion above is a bit wide ranging. But the source is not reliable and especially not for anything health-related as per WP:MEDRS. I will copy paste here what I wrote above: "First of all, this is not a peer-reviewed secondary source or a statement from an authoritative scientific body -- it is a blog posting. Please see WP:SPS. Second, the title of the site itself leads one to believe it will be anti-GMO pro-organic, and digging in, one finds that is the case. Not a neutral source - not the kind of source anybody should bring to the table, for a controversial topic. Third, the author is Claire Robinson, who also runs which publishes great "science" like "there are 'electron microscope organisms' that live in GM food." Independent Science News is part of which is also a pro-organic/anti-GMO organization. So... the publication is not a reliable, NPOV source on this issue. Much less an RS for any content in Wikipedia." I see that you work holding down the fort in some areas where pseudoscience is prevalent and you are familiar with the dangers of ideology dressed up as science. Unclear why you appear to be supporting it here! Jytdog (talk) 15:31, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Jytdog let me go by parts:
  1. You have not pointed where in the three sources used for the statement currently in the article such statement is mentioned. If there's no WP:RS backing this, it will have to be removed.
  2. I fail to see the relevance of the quote you copy/paste here where you discuss other sources. Do you have any reason/source to base your dismissal of this particular statement from ENSSER? If not I see no reason as to why the quote shouldn't be added to the article.
  3. Yes, I do work on climate change and intelligent design related articles and I'm doing right now precisely what I do on those: adhere to WP:NPOV, WP:OR, WP:SYN and WP:RS.
I'll await your comments on the concerns raised. Thank you very much. Gaba (talk) 15:46, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. The sentence you are asking about is supported by all three sources cited; I do not understand why you are not finding it.
  2. I have explained why the source you want to introduce is not reliable under RS and under MEDRS. Please address what I have said and please explain why the source complies with MEDRS.
  3. btw, This paragraph is taken from the lead of the Genetically modified food controversies article - folks who are opposed to GM food slathered all the related articles (including this one) with anti-GMO stuff, and what we have done over the past year and a half is to create an extensive article focused on the controversies, and included a "controversies" section in each GMO-releated article (see hatnote at the top of the page) that is based closely on the lead of the main Controversies article. So if this is a battle you really want to fight, that is the place to do it - there is extensive discussion on that Talk. We also had an RfP on these food safety statements, which you can read here. You are going to have to overturn an RfC consensus, to change this. This is bigger than you and me! Jytdog (talk) 16:36, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I'm going to ask you one more time and I'll try to be as clear as possible so there can be no possible misunderstanding.
1. Please present at least one source (more is always better) to back the following statement currently in place in the article:
  • There is no evidence to support the idea that the consumption of approved GM food has a detrimental effect on human health
quoting the exact appropriate section in each source that backs said claim. This statement is quite different from the one agreed upon on the RfC you mention ("There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops pose no greater risk than conventional food.") If you want to introduce a variation of this last statement, please do so. If you want to keep the current statement then you need to present the sources quoting the precise passages that support it.
2. The source is the organization's site which is a perfectly valid source for a statement put forward by that organization. You have not given a single reason as to why you claim the source is not valid under WP:RS. Furthermore WP:MEDRS is about medical sources which have absolutely nothing to do with a source for a public statement. Just in case you need more sources: [2] [3].
Once again, I'll await your comments. Regards. Gaba (talk) 17:35, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
On the "no effects" statement. I didn't ask but did you look at the sources provided? In any case:
  1. AMA, first page: "Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature." (first page)
  2. NAS, pp R9-10: "In contrast to adverse health effects that have been associated with some traditional food production methods, similar serious health effects have not been identified as a result of genetic engineering techniques used in food production. This may be because developers of bioengineered organisms perform extensive compositional analyses to determine that each phenotype is desirable and to ensure that unintended changes have not occurred in key components of food."
  3. Royal society pp 292-293. "Foods derived from GM crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects (or legal cases related to human health), despite many of the consumers coming from that most litigious of countries, the USA."Jytdog (talk) 23:56, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I have explained why the ENSSER statement is not a reliable source under plain RS and importantly under MEDRS. You have not responded to what I stated, nor have you made an argument as to why this is a reliable source, especially under MEDRS. I look forward to hearing from you on both aspects. Jytdog (talk) 23:56, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I just added these quotes to the refs, for future reference.Jytdog (talk) 00:35, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The statement "There is no evidence to support the idea that the consumption of approved GM food has a detrimental effect on human health" is a very broad one and needs to be clearly attributed and sourced. Neither of the sources you presented does this.

  1. The AMA quote you posted above immediately follows with "However, a small potential for adverse events exists, due mainly to horizontal gene transfer, allergenicity, and toxicity." This goes directly against the claim made in the broad prior statement.
  2. As for the NSA source, please see: p. 128 "..Despite the power of methods suggested by this conceptual approach and their ability to identify GE foods likely to have adverse effects, it is impossible using any method to prove the lack of an unintended effect."; p. 175: "..application of any technique to produce altered levels of or novel food components can result in unintended compositional changes that may in turn result in an adverse health effect." which also contradict the absolute and broad statement mentioned above. A better quote from that book is this I believe: "...the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, have established the background for the safety assessment of GE food (FAO/WHO, 2000; OECD, 2000). In general, these organizations have concluded that GE products are not inherently less safe than those developed by traditional breeding (IFT, 2000)" (p. 131).
  3. The JRSM source is contrasted by another publication in the same journal in response to the very article you mention where it is stated: "GM crops consumed... with no reported ill effects – therefore they are safe. This statement is illogical and the conclusion is not valid." [4] which completely trumps that source.

In light of all this, I'd support using only the first two sources for the following modified statement:

  • Several organizations including the FAO and the WHO concluded in the year 2000 that GMOs are not inherently less safe than those developed by traditional breeding. In 2012 the American Medical Association presented a report stating that "no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature" since GMOs started being consumed 20 years ago."

This is far more in line with the sources and correctly attributes the statement to the organizations that put it forward.

Now, regarding the ENSSER statement. 1- You have not explained why it is not a reliable source as per WP:RS anywhere in this discussion. I think you might be confused. 2- I've explained above that WP:MEDRS applies to sources used for statements concerning the medical science, it has absolutely nothing to do with a source for a public statement being presented by an organization. 3- You have not mentioned the two other sources I presented for this statement: and EcoWatch. Do you also think these are not reliable sources? Gaba (talk) 01:50, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

With regard to your discussion of the quotes - the additional texts you bring in all discuss hypotheticals; the text in our article and that I quoted discuss reality. That said, I agree that a more narrow statement is more supportable. I just went and reviewed the history of the Controversies article to see where the broader statement came in (it used to be more narrow, like the one you propose). It was actually introduced in this edit by a guy who was focusing on a different aspect of this paragraph, and it just slipped right in. I am actually OK with the more older, more narrow statement and will implement it throughout the suite, including here.Jytdog (talk) 02:36, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
With regard to ENSSER, I have explained. You don't need to underline things; I can read. I am irritated to the point that I am going to walk away and reply more later. Am going to edit now. I will say that you are wrong about MEDRS, which is about "health related information". Please read it. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 02:36, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, dealing with ENSSER now. Their website is a WP:SPS. The question will come down to the paragraph in MEDRS on statements by scientific organizations, which reads as follows: "Medical and scientific organizations: Statements and information from reputable major medical and scientific bodies may be valuable encyclopedic sources. These bodies include the U.S. National Academies (including the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences), the British National Health Service, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. The reliability of these sources range from formal scientific reports, which can be the equal of the best reviews published in medical journals, through public guides and service announcements, which have the advantage of being freely readable, but are generally less authoritative than the underlying medical literature." Please note that we have the American Academy for the Advancement of Science cited here, explicitly stating that there is a scientific consensus; AAAS cites in turn the NAS, The Royal Society, and other groups, all of which, with the AAAS are the kind of "reputable major medical and scientific bodies" that MEDRS authorizes for use as sources. I will acknowledge that that there are other scientific bodies, such as ENSSER, and including the Union of Concerned Scientists, Testbiotech, Bioscience Resource Project, etc that do not agree. These are not "reputable major medical and scientific bodies" on par with the ones we use as sources. If you go through ENSSER's website, it is clear that their focus is fighting GMOs; if you look at their board you see they are anti-GMO activitists, including a guy from CRIIGEN, the institute that Seralini set up to fund his anti-GMO activities. This is not a "major scientific body". As you know, consensus does not mean unanimity. Citing the ENSSER document in the lead of the Controversies article or in any of these stub sections, gives WP:UNDUE to a position that is WP:FRINGE. As for the two sites you mention, picks up all kinds of press releases, and the other is an activist website; I note that no major media outlets reported ENSSER's press release; it was widely touted in the echo chamber of anti-GMO activist websites. None of these add authority to this statement by a non-major scientific body. If you do not agree, we can post the existing content and its sources, and this source, at the MEDRS talk page for comment. Jytdog (talk) 11:57, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
First of all, thanks for editing the article back to the older and less broad statement, I can live with that. And thank you for editing the other article too, really appreciate that.
The ENSSER website is an WP:SPS just as much as the AAAS and the AMA sites are who also host their own reports [5][6]. This is not a valid concern, especially because the report was also picked up by numerous news outlets.
You have not quoted anything in WP:RS that would mean we should disregards all the sources I presented. You are reading WP:MEDRS too broadly and incorrectly I'm afraid. We are sourcing a public statement about the opinion on whether there is a consensus regarding the safety of GMOs here, not even close to being medical fact. Here's some more sources in case you want to take a look at them: [7][8][9][10][11][12][13] (that's not counting the dozens of other smaller news outlets that echoed the issue).
As for your concerns:
  • "it is clear that their focus is fighting GMOs"", this is your own conclusion and it is inconsequential (and close to being an ad-hominem fallacy). Furthermore I note that in that very section of the article we mention The Non-GMO Project and Organic Consumers Association (this last one is also one of the sources presented above), which are known anti-GMO organizations. So your reasoning of why this one shouldn't be mentioned has no substance.
  • " picks up all kinds of press releases", this is not even a reason (?). is a very reputable site.
  • "the other is an activist website", again your own conclusion. It is a news outlet that can be used as a secondary source unless you can come up with a valid reason not to.
  • "gives WP:UNDUE to a position that is WP:FRINGE", not it does not and no it is not. It simply adheres to WP:NPOV.
  • "no major media outlets reported ENSSER's press release", there is no requirement that all statements added to WP should be present in a major media outlet, just that the outlet be reliable and not an WP:SPS.
Arguing that we should not quote the major dissenting voice (so far) about GMO safety in a section specifically about the GMO controversy is frankly a bit silly.
We've been going about this for some time now and it appears we're not getting anywhere. I've presented more than enough sources to warrant a mention of the statement in the appropriate section. If you still disagree I guess RfC is the next step (the talk page of MEDRS would resolve nothing for several reasons the most important being that MEDRS has nothing to do with the issue at hand). Regards. Gaba (talk) 13:12, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
With respect to my remark about SPS. What I am saying is that the ENSSER statement is made on the authority of ENSSER. Just like the AAAS statement is made on the authority of AAAS - it too is SPS. However MEDRS, as I noted above, explicitly authorizes statements by major scientific bodies. ENSSER is not a major scientific body. I am putting aside your incorrect reading of MEDRS for a moment; let me step back. What content do you want to base on this source? I have been assuming you want to use it to support content that explicitly contests the scientific consensus statement; if hat you are doing, this would be wrong under per NPOV, as this would give equal weight to a WP:FRINGE position. If you simply want to cite this group among the opponents, I might not object to that. If that is your goal, I would be interested to see what evidence you have that ENSSER is more "major" than any of the other FRINGE groups opposing the consensus (there are several that have been at it longer and louder) Jytdog (talk) 13:38, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes please, lets leave MEDRS out of this discussion, it has absolutely nothing to do with it. This is the edit I want to add to the article. The source could also be added since its reputable and reliable and the article has a good summary of the report. The relevance of the statement by ENSSER is given not only by the coverage it got in numerous news outlets as I've shown above, but also by the quite large number of scientists from around the world that have signed it so far (231). It would be WP:UNDUE if I were proposing adding it to the lead of the article. I am not, I'm proposing adding it to the Controversy section which is precisely where something like this should go. Regards. Gaba (talk) 14:29, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Way too much weight. Like giving the Creation Museum a major paragraph in the evolution article. They are fringe and not even a major group among the opponents. I just set MEDRS aside for a moment. The content you want to support is 100% focused on health - on whether GM food is harmful to health. MEDRS unambiguously covers health-related content - it says so, and issues similar to this have been discussed in its Talk pages. As I have written above, opponents of GMOs, like you, have sought to overwhelm this article with detailed discussion of the controversies. We have worked hard to keep this article clean and rational, and keeping this stub aligned with the Controversies article. This is - and I am going to play your game and emphasize here - just the most recent in a long line of statements from WP:FRINGE groups challenging the scientific consensus. There is nothing more notable about ENSSER than about gmfreecyru or indepepentsciencenews or greenpeace or CRIIGEN. It is just recent. You are attempting to challenge a scientific consensus statement backed (in the Controversies article) by about 12 sources and a recent RfC. Oy. I just created a new section on the Talk page of MEDRS asking about this source. It is hereJytdog (talk) 15:27, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Well that is nice. You just produced a personal attack in the form of an ad-hominem ("opponents of GMOs, like you") and then went ahead to open a new discussion at a talk page I did not agree with. The only thing I'm attempting to do is to mention, in the Controversy section of the article, a statement about the consensus status of GMOs that can be found on numerous news articles. I'm definitely not "challenging" anything and your behaviour turning this discussion into a WP:BATTLEGROUND leaves a lot to be desired. I thought we were making progress, I guess not. I'll comment on those new sections you opened aiming at bringing the discussion back here to avoid fragmentation. Regards. Gaba (talk) 15:44, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I am sorry to have made a statement about you, as opposed to discussing content. I have struck it. I apologize again. Jytdog (talk) 15:46, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
You are indeed seeking to introduce content that questions the scientific consensus. I am sorry you see me to be battleground-y; I actually completed conceded to your point about the "no ill effects" statement being too broad. For what it is worth, I find your discourse to be pretty abrupt and confronting as well. I like to have discussions on things, actually. But when you again denied (from my perspective, via a plain claim with no reasoning behind it) that this content is not about health, that put us pretty much at an impasse. Hence my going to MEDRS. I do look forward to continue talking, once we are clear on what policies and guidelines apply to our discussion.Jytdog (talk) 15:53, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I am seeking, as per WP:NPOV, to introduce in the appropriate Controversy section, a small note about over two hundred scientists signing a statement questioning the consensus around GMO safety which appeared in numerous news articles, including the reputable site. You apparently feel this is WP:UNDUE and I definitely do not. I asked you to not open a request at MEDRS and you did anyway. You also opened another thread in another article which only serves to fragment the discussion. Instead of this we could have agreed on a neutral RfC (I note the sections you opened are far from neutral) I don't deny this is an issue about health, I oppose that it falls under MEDRS as per being simply a statement about consensus, not about a particular medical fact. By your reasoning even climate change news would fall under MEDRS because the climate affects our health. I apologize if my editing style comes off as abrupt and confronting, I certainly do not intended it to. Now that you've opened two new threads and I've redirected them here (hopefully) we can wait to see if we get some more input. Regards. Gaba (talk) 16:10, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Just to be clear, what I hear you saying is that this is not about health per se, but rather about the certainty of scientific knowledge about health effects. If I am right, this even more subject to MEDRS, because the content concerns what the scientific community understands about the health effects, and as per MEDRS "it is vital that the biomedical information in all types of articles be based on reliable, third-party, published sources and accurately reflect current medical knowledge." The point of MEDRS is that we accurately state what the scientific community holds as true. By introducing this content you are trying to say that the our knowledge about the relative of food safety of GM food is less certain than it is. Giving so much weight to a fringe argument does not "accurately reflect current knowledge." (I am ignoring the strawman argument about climate change)Jytdog (talk) 16:52, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
The information I propose to add is certainly based on reliable, third-party, published sources. Whether it reflects "current medical knowledge" is precisely the issue. These scientists are saying that the current state that there is consensus around the safety of GMOs is not true, that's why I'm proposing adding it to the Controversy section, not the lead. I'm not "trying to say that", the people who signed the statement are. I'm simply adhering to WP:NPOV and WP:RS to propose adding a relevant piece of information to the article. Your whole issue appears to revolve around WP:UNDUE weight and I've already pointed out that I disagree with you that this falls within that category. It would if I were proposing adding it to a more relevant part of the article, which I'm not. The Controversy section is there precisely for this kind of things. It's a two sentence edit and with the addition of Alexbrn proposed source it now has a third sentence which refutes the statement. Not having a single mention of a relevant statement (and again: it's relevant given the large number of media outlets where it appeared and the large number of scientists that support it) is not in line with WP:NPOV and almost conflicts with WP:NOTCENSORED. Regards. Gaba (talk) 17:15, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I am sorry but you are not listening to me at all. I really hear you that you think the ENSSER source is very important and big and really deserves explicit reference in Wikipedia. I hear you. You are ignoring what I am saying, in that it fails MEDRS and cannot be used to actually challenge the statement of scientific consensus; your content does not frame this at all as the FRINGE statement it is. And the location you want to put it is indeed too much WEIGHT. I have agreed below that this could well be mentioned in the Controversies article and I will probably add it there over the weekend. If you take some time and read the controversies article you will see it is vast, and far more impactful things have happened than this statement by ENSSER; I doubt this statement will reach the lead of the Controversies article, and so it does not belong here either. The whole purpose of WEIGHT is to have editors apply some judgement; you are not applying any. As far as I can see you have latched onto some recent news and are making a big deal out of it. That is not what we do here. And in any case, let's wait for more people to come and talk about the MEDRS issue since we appear to be at an impasse about that. There is no big rush. Jytdog (talk) 17:33, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I never said the ENSSER source was "important", much less "very important and big and really deserves explicit reference in Wikipedia". I said the statement was signed by enough scientists and picked up by enough news outlets that it warrants a small mention. It looks like you are the one not listening Jytdog, I thought I had already established that I do not believe MEDRS applies here. You do believe so, I hear you. But I don't. I'm not "making a big deal" out of anything, I'm simply applying my own judgment (yes, believe it or not) to come up with the conclusion that this piece of information is relevant enough and has enough coverage in enough WP:RS to warrant a mention as per WP:NPOV. We clearly disagree.
I said below that if the consensus is to move this over to that article then I have nothing against it, we can agree on that. I too think that we are at an impasse and should let other editors chime in, so we agree on that too. I also believe there is no rush, so that's a third thing we agree with. See?, it's not that bad :) Regards. Gaba (talk) 17:51, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
A key point here (which has already been raised) is that the section here needs to mirror our main GMO controversies article according to the guidance of WP:SYNC. If the content changes there, then it can be sync'd up here. So that article is really where the consensus is decided.
As to ENSSER, they are a reliable source for their own view, which must be presented as such. But there needs to be some discussion of their position in good secondary sources to establish notability/weight before inclusion. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI
(Add) This might do it. Be careful though to contextualize ENSSER's fringe view within the consensus view, as this magazine article does, and as WP:PSCI requires of us. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:06, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Alexbrn, thanks for commenting. I presented several secondary sources commenting on the statement above. I'll list them here: [14] [15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]. Please note that the first one is, a very reputable site.
I can certainly add the statement by ABC you linked to into my proposed edit, just give me a minute and I'll present it here. Regards. Gaba (talk) 16:10, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
In addition to my note on WT:MEDRS (which I won't repaste here, but note is in full agreement with Alexbrn above), I should note that online petitions are just about as unscientific as you can get (see A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism and Project Steve for a nice analogy here). Frankly, any thought I had this was a reputable scientific organization went out the window when I saw that. Yobol (talk) 16:19, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
As Alexbrn proposed above I'm adding a comment by the source he presented to my proposed edit. This is what it would look like:
  • In October 2013 the European Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibilities (ENSSER) released a statement challenging the view that there is a consensus among scientific and governmental bodies on GM foods being safe or no more risky than non-GM foods.[6] As of October 2013, it had been signed by over 200 academics from around the world of various scientific backgrounds.[7] The chair of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) of Australia, Dr Julian Little, responded in a press release statintg that the overwhelming weight of evidence points to the safety of GM crops.[8][9]
Comments are welcomed. Regards. Gaba (talk) 17:02, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
No, does not belong in this article, much too much weight here. Might deserve a sentence or two in the controversy article, under the Public Perception section as it does not qualify as a scientific statement. Yobol (talk) 17:06, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, brief coverage in the GMO Controversies article (not here) may be warranted. As to the proposed text is makes it sound like we have, on the one side, a bunch of scientists and, on the other side, an Aussie bloke with a press release. It needs to be sort of the other way round :-) Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:11, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Source still fails MEDRS and no health-related content can be brought, based on it. Can have brief content about ENSSER's claim - stated as such and not as a statement about reality, in the controversies article. I doubt it is significant enough to reach the lead of the Controversies article, and so unlikely to end up here at all.Jytdog (talk) 17:21, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
But it already is a sentence or two. It is exactly two and can be easily made into one, it can hardly be reduced much more. Please remember where we are guys. This is WP, an edit does not "need" to do anything other than accurately reflect the sources. If you have a better way of phrasing this based on the sources, please present it and we can discuss it. If the consensus is to move the edit over to Genetically modified food controversies, I'd have no problem with that. Regards. Gaba (talk) 17:23, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for agreeing to put this into the Controversies article instead of here! That completely changes the discussion; now we have a chance of reaching consensus. I would be fine with the first sentence alone going into the body of the Controversies article; agreed with Yobol that it should probably go in the public perception section. The second sentence is unnecessary and all the signatories are not the same kind of scientist, so emphasizing their number is misleading. The third sentence is un-necessary as well since we are in no way pitting ENSSER's claim against the actual scientific consensus and we are not using the ENSSER source to make a claim about reality - we are only using it to support what ENSSER said. I still want to get input on the MEDRS page; other editors are likley to come through and make the same fuss you are making. Jytdog (talk) 17:50, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Went through the sources provided by User:Gaba_p today.

  • Gaba has touted the source as "very reputable". I have said several times that will publish pretty much anybody's science-related press release. At the bottom of the page cited, it reads, "Provided by European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility". This is straight from ENSSER; it is not any kind of independent source that validates or invalidates the ENSSER statement. phooey.
  • As mentioned above, ecowatch is an anti-GMO site; lends nothing here
  • organic consumers is an anti-GMO organization; lends nothing here
  • blue and green tomorrow is an anti-GMO environmentalist site; lends nothing here
  • greenmedinfo is a blog posting on an alt med website full of fringe nonsense, and the post is written by jeremy lantham, who brought us news at independentsciencenews that there are "electron microscope organisms" in GM food. ludicrous. shameful to even bring this.
  • the "abc" site brought by Alexbrn is a GMO industry trade organization. Not reliable or interesting for statements about reality.
  • farmers' weekly is pretty good. they do as they should, namely do some reporting and put the quote in context of the actual scientific consensus. could be seen as a hit job by those who are anti-GMO activitists. But they are at least a real news site, for farmers. they have news about all kinds of farm related matters.
  • farming UK is pretty good. they do some reporting
  • the fish site is not bad. it is a news site for the fish industry; does some reporting but does the "balance" thing without weighing them, and doesn't call ENSSER what it is; is not bad.
  • seattle weekly is a casual magazine, not much for real news. but they note that the statement was timed to be politicaly relevant to the Washington state referendum. hm
  • foodprocessing is another trade journal. this is not bad. they have no skin in the game and do some reporting.

I note that that this is bunch of activist sites and some some trade news. No mainstream media like NYT, WSJ, or CNN and not even major scientific news outlets like Science or Nature news. In any case, I added content on this to the Genetically_modified_food_controversies#Reviews_and_polls as discussed above. Jytdog (talk) 16:05, 16 November 2013 (UTC) (edit, striking incorrect attributionJytdog (talk) 05:56, 17 November 2013 (UTC))

Just to note, the source I proposed was Farmer's Weekly, not the "abc" site. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:59, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
my apologies! struck that. Jytdog (talk) 05:56, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Some comments:
Thanks for adding the edit to that article, I'll correct a couple of things that are not supported by the sources used but we can have that discussion over there in case you disagree with my edits. Regards. Gaba (talk) 23:20, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
are we not done now? The ENSSER statement is now discussed in the GM controversies article and i am fine with your changes to what i did there. thanks. Jytdog (talk) 00:16, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your hard work! I might just make the request at WP:RSN about anyway for the sake of completeness. Cheers and thanks again. Gaba (talk) 00:35, 17 November 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ American Medical Association (2012). Report 2 of the Council on Science and Public Health: Labeling of Bioengineered Foods
  2. ^ United States Institute of Medicine and National Research Council (2004). Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects. National Academies Press. Free full-text. National Academies Press. See pp11ff on need for better standards and tools to evaluate GM food.
  3. ^ Key S, Ma JK, Drake PM (June 2008). "Genetically modified plants and human health". J R Soc Med 101 (6): 290–8. doi:10.1258/jrsm.2008.070372. PMC 2408621. PMID 18515776. 
  4. ^ a b []"No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety." ENSSER. European Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibilities, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ “Claims that there is a consensus among scientific and governmental bodies that GM foods are safe, or that they are no more risky than non-GM foods, are false." Statement: No scientific consensus on GMO safety, ENSSER, 10/21/12013
  7. ^ Signatories 'No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety', ENSSER, 10/30/2013
  8. ^ abc stresses overwhelming weight of evidence on safety of GM crops, ABC press release, 22/10/13
  9. ^ Scientific consensus on GM crops safety 'overwhelming', Farmers Weekly, 25/10/2013

Genetically modified tomatoes are a separate page[edit]

I recently added this to the page for vaccine. More complex plants such as tobacco, potato, tomato and banana, can have genes inserted that cause them to produce vaccines usable for humans. [1] There is a seperate page for genetically modified tomatoes; should there be one for other fruits and vegetables?

Retraction of a widely reported paper expected[edit]

Controversial Seralini GMO-rats paper to be retracted I suppose there will be other press reports about this in English soon. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 03:37, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Forbes has it. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:47, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
The retraction is noted in the two relevant articles - Seralini affair and Genetically modified food controversies. The Seralini study ~could~have been discussed in the controversies section of this article but that section is based closely on the lead of the Controversies article, in order to avoid duplication, overlaps and contradictions within Wikipedia. However, the Seralini publication and the controversy around it did not reach the lead of the Controversies article, so was never cited in this article. Jytdog (talk) 18:03, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

edits by Cboudre7[edit]

hi User:Cboudre7 today you added a bunch of detail to the regulation section and the controversy section in these difs with no edit notes. I reverted in this dif, with edit note: "these edits are off target and and are adding detail to stub sections. This article is about GMOs per se and there are stub sections for regulation and controversies. pls see Talk". And that is the story. There is a suite of GM-related articles, as per the hat note at the top of each article in the suite. Each article has a focus, and "stub" sections pointing to other Main articles in the suite. The purpose of this structure is a) to allow each aspect of the GM technology and issues to have a clear focus; b) provide overall coverage in each article by use of brief "stub" sections based on the lead of related articles (referenced as "see main" at the start of the each stub section); and c) keep all the articles aligned and synchronized and prevent bushy overgrowth that overwhelms the main topic of the article and prevent there from being contradicting information across the articles in the suite. It is a matter of gardening. If you want to add information about regulation, please put it in the Regulation article; if it becomes important enough to enter the lead of that article, it will come back into the stub section in each of the related articles. See what I mean? Jytdog (talk) 04:16, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

further to this, User:Cboudre7 -- for the regulation stuff, please see description of regulation in Canada here: Regulation_of_the_release_of_genetically_modified_organisms#Canada - you can see it is different from what you added to this section - and this kind of contradiction is not good for Wikipedia. Jytdog (talk) 05:08, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Cbourde7 also included content that says "Canada does not consider the economic or social impacts of GM crops before they are allowed on the market". This is confusing to me, as this document which I found with a quick search of the Health Canada site, specifically discusses exports - this is a document that is part of the regulatory process for GM alfalfa in Canada. Jytdog (talk) 05:08, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Cbourde7 also included this content: "in 2010 Liberals and Conservatives voted down Private Member's Bill C-474 that would have supported Canadian farmers by requiring that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”(ref name=cban) Canadian Biotechnology Action Network." This is POV language, as it assumes that all Canadian farmers are opposed to GM crops which is false and the source is biased. Here is the text of the bill. I went hunting for a nonbiased sourced and this is not bad; this too. I have added NPOV content based on those two sources to the Genetically modified food controversies article. Thanks for bringing this topic up!Jytdog (talk) 05:08, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Today User:Cbourde7 added back some of the content from yesterday in these difs, again with no edit note, which I reverted with this dif with edit note: "reverting; same reason as yesterday. Please please come and discuss on Talk. thank you."Jytdog (talk) 19:15, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
New matter includes: "Currently in Canada, labeling is mandatory if there is a safety or health issue with a food, which might be mitigated through labeling. For example, if the nutritional value or composition of the food has been changed, or if there is an allergen present in the food, the food must be labelled as such. In this situation, special labelling is required to alert consumers or susceptible groups in the population. This applies to all foods, including GM foods. (ref name=Sheldon) Sheldon, M. (2001).Regulation of Biotechnology: we will ever'freely' trade GMOs? Journal of Agricultural Economics." As discussed above, this is loading up the Regulatory section with additional information specific to one country. Following this principle, this section should have information on all countries and should basically be a copy/paste from the Regulation of the release of genetically modified organisms article... but that would be silly. This is not information germane GMOs in any case. It may belong in the Regulation of Release of GMO article, but even that is not certain.Jytdog (talk) 19:15, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Also this: "Other potentially problematic results of genetic engineering that are essentially unprecedented within the literature are issues of cross-contamination and loss of crop variety. This tendency is due to farmers growing only GM foods (which have not been discovered for every crop) so as to substantiate an increased profit. (ref name=Sheldon) Sheldon, M. (2001). Regulation of Biotechnology: will we ever 'freely' trade GMOs? Journal of Agricultural Economics.Retrieved from:" This is a bunch of non-NPOV language. And none of this (the "virtually unprecedented" part as well as the "loss of variety" part) is supported by the source provided. And please tell me, what farmer is not trying to make money? The source is useful for discussion of the interaction among regulatory regimens and international trade (although it is somewhat outdated as it pre-dates the reform of the EU's GMO regulations); have added it to that section in the Genetically modified food controversies article. Jytdog (talk) 19:15, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

objection to a very categorical statement[edit]

"No reports of ill effects have been documented in the human population from GM food"

Why all controversy then? Anyhow, such a categorical statement needs only 1 counter-example to disapprove it and soften it in the article:

[23], [24], section 3.7, [25]

In other words, please soften the statement with support from new references, or add a contradictory statement with new references, or remove the statement all-together. Thank you. (talk) 08:39, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Not one of those articles documents ill effects in an actual person from eating GM food. The last one, I note, has to do with organic farming and the application of Bt spray - GM crops containing Bt require no spraying of Bt. Jytdog (talk) 12:48, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Agree with Jytdog but he also raises an important distinction: "ill effects in an actual person from eating GM food". The article right now states something much more vague and encompassing: "No reports of ill effects have been documented in the human population from GM food". That "from" is too broad and doesn't reflect the current issues with GM crops related pesticides. I'm changing the statement to to a more precise "No reports of ill effects have been documented in the human population from ingesting GM food". Regards. Gaba (talk) 13:29, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
sounds good thanks Jytdog (talk) 13:56, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

missing class of GMOs in an historical context[edit]

The authors have done an amazing job at keeping this article free from political activism. Its very informative and vey well documented.

I am wondering however, if its still missing the historical context and braoder context. GMOs are not something new. Man has been manipulating the genetics of plants and animals for thousands of years. Maize is an entirely manmade species. The original unmodified species went extinct before the birth of Columbus. Sheep DNA was been so manipulated by man over the last 15,000 years that it can no longer survive on its own. Just because these genetic manipulations did not involve a petri dish, does not mean they didn't result in a GMO. The fact is the DNA of the corn Columbus brought back to Europe was not the same as the DNA of the original species before the residents of the Tehuacan Valley modified it. GMOs are not just created in a lab. ADM has been doing it in the field rows for decades and farmers in Europe have been doing it through selective breeding for centuries before that. By ignoring these "brute" methods and only focusing on the labratory manipulations has allowed the definition of GMOs to be distorted and exploited for political and financial gain by alarmist groups.

If any species' DNA changes because of the intentional actions of man, that makes it a GMO. The method doesn't matter. This is the most powerful arguement that science can make to show that all this recent hype is just that. Hype. (talk) 11:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Domestication is discussed in the cited Main article, History of genetic engineering. I brought some content in from that article but this is not something to belabor here; folks are mostly concerned with the modern technology. Thanks for your kind words, btw. Jytdog (talk) 12:51, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I've modified both in the main article and here the statement "Human directed genetic modification has been occurring to "Human indirected genetic modification has been occurring". Direct manipulation/modification is what we have today. Regards. Gaba (talk) 14:08, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
as mentioned in my edit notes, "direct" was used verbally (participially to be exact) - the more expanded sentence would have been "genetic modification directed by humans" - the intention was not meant to be "direct" in the sense of "without mediation". i changed these to take out "direct" althogether, and changed to "caused by humans" Jytdog (talk) 14:58, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
The reality is that the breeding of plants and animals by man thousands of years ago hardly constitutes genetic manipulation at all.

Initially, the breeding was very nondiscriminant. For example, they would plant the seeds they had left over from previous crops with no regard to what plants might be the most productive. For example, when the diploid T. tauschii (aka Aegilops squarrosa) contributed a set of chromosomes to the tetraploid wheat, Emmer, to create the first hexaploid wheat, this was hardly the result of any plant breeding effort. Rather, it is a happy accident that occurred under circumstances resulting from the farming practices of the day.

Much, much later the notion of saving the seed from the most productive plants to be planted the next year and consuming the rest started to supplant the first. In spite of that even today many farmers saving seeds are rather indiscriminant about what they sell and what they save unless there is very noticeable differences in the seed.

The practice of intentionally breeding different strains of a crop to produce a new strain is far more recent. By some stretch of the imagination, this could possibly be loosely referred to as being a kind of genetic modification, but the products could hardly be called GMO's.

To try to tie GMOs back to the early breeding of plants and animals is not only misleading, it is quite intellectually dishonest. That it is done with the purpose of trying to water down the term to assuage people's irrational fears of something new doesn't matter. I doubt that it would work, anyway -- there are always too many people who are afraid of anything new. (talk) 19:52, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

as per the Talk page guidelines, this is not a general discussion forum on the topic, but rather, a page to discuss the article and changes to it. If you would like to discuss any specific content, please let us know. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 19:57, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't trying to engage in general discussion. I was trying to point out why claiming (or hinting) that we have been creating GMO's for 10,000 years is incorrect. (talk) 20:02, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Is there some specific content in the article that you are suggesting be changed? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 20:16, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
The first part under "History" needs to make it clear that conventional breeding is not genetic engineering and does not result in GMOs. Language is most useful when it is so sufficiently well defined that when one person uses a term, you don't have to ask them to define their pet definition of the term. I don't see why that first part of the paragraph even needs to be there. (talk) 22:10, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for making your comments concrete and not general. OK, can you please provide reliable sources (as we define that term in Wikipedia - see WP:RS) that 1) there are significant differences in the resulting organism, when it is generated with conventional breeding vs genetic engineering, and 2) that an organism created by conventional breeding has not been genetically modified? We cannot just assert stuff on our own authority on Wikipedia (please see WP:VERIFY). I realize that you may find my question frustrating but I am trying to work with you, as we work in Wikipedia. Thanks! Jytdog (talk) 22:19, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
At the start of the article, it makes it clear that GMOs are organisms created by using genetic engineering techniques. It's the "History" portion that muddies it up by leaving it open to interpretation that nearly everything can be considered to be GMO. As for whether or not the result from genetic engineering techniques is any different from the result from selective breeding is quite immaterial since GMO is really about the techniques used. One could surely use genetic engineering techniques to produce the same results as conventional plant breeding programs, but that would probably not be very efficient and cost effective.
Also, there is always the possibility that a very foreign gene can be introduced into an organism by "lateral gene transfer" or "horizontal gene transfer". For example, the human genome contains a surprising amount of viral DNA from the Bornaa virus. However, the resulting organism would not be a GMO because it was not the result of genetic engineering techniques. The label GMO is really dependent on how the organism acquired the changes to its genome, not on what changes were made to the genome.
Anyway, here are a few sources: [2]: "So now genetic scientist can change plants and animals by giving them new genes. This is called genetic engineering, which is the manipulation of an organism's genes. If a plant or animal has its genes changed or if it gets new genes by genetic engineering, then it is called a genetically modified organism or GMO." Although that is a page for youths and not highly technical, it is nevertheless quite a nice statement of it.
From [3]: "genetically modified organism: an organism or microorganism whose genetic material has been altered by means of genetic engineering."
From WHO, the World Health Organization, [4]: "Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism."
I think this one hits the nail on the head. From [5]: "The acronym GMO stands for "genetically modified organism," and was first used years ago to designate microorganisms that had had genes from other species transferred into their genetic material by the then-new techniques of "gene-splicing." ... Many would argue that the current use of the term "GMO" is much too narrowly constructed, in that it refers more to the process by which genes are introduced rather than to the product. For example, introduction of a truly harmful gene (such as one for a human toxin) into a crop would not result in a "GMO" provided the harmful gene had been found in that crop species. But when a gene is discovered in a microorganism, in another plant species, or in an animal and transferred into a crop plant, the resulting crop cultivar will be designated a "GMO" no matter how benign the transferred gene turns out to be. Some have taken to referring to "GM food" or "GM crops" or "Genetically Enhanced" crops, but most of the world still knows such crops as GMO's."
The same article also distinguishes between crops in which the genes were modified by conventional breeding: "In a real sense, all of the crop cultivars that we use are "genetically modified," in that they were bred to be more productive, more pest resistant, or produce better or different quality of product than did previous cultivars. Such changes, which have been going on ever since crops were domesticated, involve the addition of genes over time, but such additions are with few exceptions from within the same species, or at least the same genus. Such changes also include such things as mutations, even those induced on purpose, as long as they were done within the genus." So even though the genes were modified by conventional breeding, they are not GMOs. As he said, the term GMOs refers to the process by which they got that way, not merely that there was a change in the genome.
Finally, from [6]: "genetically engineered/modified organisms. The following provisional definition is provided for genetically/modified organisms[5]. Genetically engineered/modified organisms, and products thereof, are produced through techniques in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination."
And for genetic engineering from the site: "Techniques of genetic engineering/modification include, but are not limited to: recombinant DNA, cell fusion, micro and macro injection, encapsulation, gene deletion and doubling. Genetically engineered organisms will not include organisms resulting from techniques such as conjugation, transduction and hybridization." It's not clear to me why this article rules out term "genetic engineering" for conjugation and transduction unless it specifically means conjugation and transduction that occur naturally.
My suggestion would be to remove the first two sentences from the "History" section: "The general principle of producing a GMO is to alter the genetic material of an organism's genome. Genetic modification caused by human activity has been occurring since humans first domesticated animals in 12,000 BC.[6]:1 and plants around 10,000 BC.[7]:1" The first sentence merely restates what is said earlier without the restriction that it is only by modern techniques of genetic engineering and the second is highly misleading because it not only fails to specify that it is only by modern genetic engineering but goes even further and talks about activities thousands of years before the first GMO in the 1970s. If the article does want to talk about animal and plant breeding thousands of years ago, it needs to emphasize that such activities had nothing to do with GMOs. That brings up the question of why to even include the sentence in an article about GMOs unless the specific purpose of the sentence is to make it clear that such changes to the genome did not create GMOs. (talk) 02:06, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think you are over-reacting a bit... the current text doesn't say that GMOs are created by breeding. It says "The general principle of producing a GMO is to alter the genetic material of an organism's genome. Genetic modification caused by human activity has been occurring since humans first domesticated animals in 12,000 BC and plants around 10,000 BC. Genetic engineering, the direct transfer of DNA from one organism to another, was first accomplished by Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen in 1973." It is very clear that the genetic engineering is a different technology from breeding, and it does not say that an organism produced through breeding is a GMO. So again, what exactly are you objecting to? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 12:56, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Being as it is in the "History" section of an entry on GMOs, it strongly implies that the results of this "modification" by conventional breeding is GMOs. I have seen far too many people arguing that GMOs go that far back or further. Describing conventional breeding in the history of GMOs without explicitly saying that the product of conventional breeding is not GMO leaves it easy for readers to conclude that it is GMO. I think that most people do not have enough logical capacity to see the distinction. (talk) 18:19, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
So you are not disputing that the current text is accurate and well-sourced. There is indeed much stronger rhetoric out there (as you have pointed out) blurring the line between breeding and genetic engineering. But our language is clear that breeding and genetic engineering are distinct technologies. As it stands the history section is true and accurate (I don't hear you contesting that at all). And, with its clarity, it is useful. If I were teaching a high school biology class, this is exactly how I would introduce the concept of genetic engineering to the class - going from driving changes in crops through breeding to driving change through genetic engineering is just the application of technology to a problem - like going from yodelling across a valley to calling a landline to calling a cell phone. I hear you, that you are concerned that somebody might think GMOs (in the sense of something created using genetic engineering) have been around for thousands of years, but we are not saying that and we cannot idiot-proof Wikipedia (or much in life). This is a lot of fuss over over one line! Jytdog (talk) 18:35, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Can we add some information about experiment on GMO food fed to rats?[edit]

Can someone with native English language edit this section to add information that is missing and crucial for a non/biased article? Here is the study: Here is a objective exlanation of why it has been retracted: I think this sentence "There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk than conventional food.[117][118][119] No reports of ill effects have been documented in the human population from ingesting GM food." does not consider all the data available on the subject. Unmismoobjetivo (talk) 14:35, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi. This article is focused on GMOs per se. It is not about all the controversies around them. Wikipedia has an article on each kind of GMO thing that actually explains what it is, how it is used, etc, which are linked at the top of the page. This is so people can actually understand the subject of the controversy (formerly, each article was smothered with the controversy itself and said nothing about the controverted thing itself) Each article, including this one, has a stub section on the controversies, with a link to the main controversies article. In the main controversies article there is a section on the Seralini series of studies, as well as others, here. Wikipedia also has an article on all the hoopla around that article and its retraction: Seralini affair. Content about that does not belong in this article, since that article is not about what a GMO is or how it is used. thanks! Jytdog (talk) 14:46, 17 February 2014 (UTC)