5

votes

So what exactly is bad about genetically modified soy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2012 at 8:04 PM

I received this question from someone, but don't quite have the resources/experience to answer the question fully and with accuracy. Of course I could google a bunch of random sources but I feel like I will get a bunch of contradicting information.

Here is the full question the person sent me:

In your post in which you revise a list of replacements for foods with fat in them, you make a point of saying that modt soy beans are genetically modified. In what way is that bad? I was just wondering, because some people treat "genetically modified" like it's infused with uranium or something, but sometimes it's better for you because scientists basically speed up evolution to make it a better for you, more nutritional, lasts longer, etc. So what exactly is bad about genetic mutation in soy?

So here's my question: Do you have any information/sources that explain the harmful effects of genetically modified soy (and other products) as well as contrasting the "benefits"? I know the ""benefits"" are larger crop yield, bigger produce, resistant to pests, longer shelf life, etc. What about GM food nutrients and its effects on health?

Oh! And another thing. Does anyone have an information about commercially prepared soy products (such as soy sauce, tofu, soy milk, etc) being unfermented and dangerous to consume?

Thank you!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Apparently ignorance of proofreading is also rampant.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:35 AM

Is gluten really toxic to birds, bugs and rodents? They seen to do well on modern wheat and farmers have to work quite hard to stop them eating it all.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:30 AM

I'm not defending the use to which GMO technology is often put but I dislike articles such as the one linked too using ignorance and missinformation to spread scare stories.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:29 AM

I'm not defending the use to which GMO technology is often put but I dislike people using ignorance and missinformation to spread scare stories.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:27 AM

Each cell in a corn plant contains some 2 billions letters of DNA and some 30,000 coded genes. Only a very tiny sequence of one gene of that DNA is the modified gene. Genes from plant, animals and bacteria have the same basic sequence but very different control regions so even if you put the entire modified gene from a plant into a bacterium it would not do anything. Also plants contain genes for many different toxins and bacteria do not take them up and start making toxins themselves.

6ba6dc54fccbb9e01a07595137cecfa2

(92)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:34 AM

http://aocs.files.cms-plus.com/images/informFreeArticles/Soy%20for%20Web--REVISED%203.pdf

6ba6dc54fccbb9e01a07595137cecfa2

(92)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:10 AM

Denial of what evidence?Denial of propaganda is easy. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091208162639.htm Ignorance is and proofreading is not needed by the many.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Yeah, but in the end all you're doing is changing DNA. I don't care if it comes from another species or not, all DNA does is encode sequences of amino acids to make protein. It's not like putting fish DNA in wheat is going to mean your wheat will grow gills and swim away. In the end it's all proteins. Some of those proteins are bad for us (e.g., gluten), but the cross-species part of it isn't solely what makes GM bad.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:26 AM

If you make a statement like that, be prepared to back it up with some evidence. Do you have studies re: safety etc? Studies not supported by a giant agribusiness corporations?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:46 PM

I'm also wondering if the nuance in the title, "taken up by the body" is of note here because our gut biota live as independent organisms. So that novel snip of DNA might not become part of the tendon in your knee but wouldn't the bacteria itself be prone to acting differently. We also know now that gut bacteria is transferred to the fetus during gestation, not just at birth, so how might that impact the digestive ability of the next generation?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:38 PM

"Ordinary DNA vastly outnumbers transgene DNA in our diets", yes, but for how long? 3 out of 4 products on store shelves have corn. Nearly as many contain soy. Both of which are increasingly GMO. I understand that there may have been some confusion about the transfer of whole genes vs. snips of genes by the author, but the dismissal of the impact from completely novel snips never before seen in the human diet seems bit overconfident to me in this rebuttal.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:25 PM

-1 for Monsanto-mongering and outright denial of evidence.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:03 PM

http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-5/5-4-transgenes-and-bacteria/

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:55 PM

The difference is that GM foods can have genes from other species. cross breeding or hybridizing doesn't go as far.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Wheat is actually not GM it is hybridized.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:33 PM

cross breeding is a form of "genetic modification", by selectively breeding different strains, you're modifying the genes of the offspring. It can be done "naturally" by cross breeding or "artificially" by "chemicals" in a "labratory". In the end, it's all the same.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:16 PM

I don't think wheat is actually GM; it's cross-bred til it's got the traits they want. Monsanto would love to sell GM wheat but other countries said no way. http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/02/wheat-is-not-genetically-modified/

F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

(1439)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:03 PM

miked, right on!!! Good answer.

4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Great answer. I think we get so caught up in thinking about how a certain food impacts our health that we forget about how it's impacting the world around us. Think of the honey bees!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:18 PM

Fermented soy, such as tofu, miso, traditional soy sauce, does not have the same effects as nonfermented soy products.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:16 PM

I think it's a fine question. I don't have any really good sources, i.e., not paid for by the dairy industry or things from Dr Mercola or the WAPF, which will probably automatically be poo-poo'ed by people pro-soy. (Full disclaimer: I do eat organic tamari and occasionally miso, so I'm not COMPLETELY anti-soy. I just use it as a condiment.)

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:07 PM

I'm not an expert on the effects of GM, but why bother with *any* soy? GM or not, soy is bad news.

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4 Answers

5
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:36 PM

I think the questioner might be confusing selective breeding with the injection of foreign DNA into the cells of plants. Yes humans have spent millenia breeding plants for tastiness, abundance, and size, but that is a completely different game than genetic modification. Plants can refuse to breed with fish or pesticides, but they are unable to reject the new DNA once their own DNA is pierced and the foreign genetic material is inserted. The long term effect on our genetic code could be even worse than if the soybeans were radioactive, we at least know that the genetic mutations from radiation exposure tend to dissipate over generations.

One example of why this wouldn't be healthy for humans is the unstable DNA inserted into soy is easily transferred to our gut bacteria during digestion. The health of our microbiome is the core of the health of the rest of our bodies, and that once that unstable DNA becomes part of us it can be transferred easily from mother to child, possibly causing permanent genetic damage to humans. I'd suggest they watch the movie "Children of Men", and decide for themselves if that is an acceptable future.

http://www.anh-usa.org/genetically-engineered-food-alters-our-digestive-systems/

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:03 PM

http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-5/5-4-transgenes-and-bacteria/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:46 PM

I'm also wondering if the nuance in the title, "taken up by the body" is of note here because our gut biota live as independent organisms. So that novel snip of DNA might not become part of the tendon in your knee but wouldn't the bacteria itself be prone to acting differently. We also know now that gut bacteria is transferred to the fetus during gestation, not just at birth, so how might that impact the digestive ability of the next generation?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:38 PM

"Ordinary DNA vastly outnumbers transgene DNA in our diets", yes, but for how long? 3 out of 4 products on store shelves have corn. Nearly as many contain soy. Both of which are increasingly GMO. I understand that there may have been some confusion about the transfer of whole genes vs. snips of genes by the author, but the dismissal of the impact from completely novel snips never before seen in the human diet seems bit overconfident to me in this rebuttal.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:27 AM

Each cell in a corn plant contains some 2 billions letters of DNA and some 30,000 coded genes. Only a very tiny sequence of one gene of that DNA is the modified gene. Genes from plant, animals and bacteria have the same basic sequence but very different control regions so even if you put the entire modified gene from a plant into a bacterium it would not do anything. Also plants contain genes for many different toxins and bacteria do not take them up and start making toxins themselves.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:30 AM

I'm not defending the use to which GMO technology is often put but I dislike articles such as the one linked too using ignorance and missinformation to spread scare stories.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:29 AM

I'm not defending the use to which GMO technology is often put but I dislike people using ignorance and missinformation to spread scare stories.

4
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:27 PM

Soy is bad in general. It doesn't matter if it's GM or not. http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/

GM is generally bad not so much, as you say because it's infused with uranium (I like that analogy), but because the modifications they do allow them to do "bad things". GM crops are usually modified so that they are resistant to pesticides. That way, you grow your GM crop, then spray the whole field with a nasty pesticide which kill everything except the GM crop that can handle the pesticide. The plant may not die from the pesticide, but you can bet it still absorbed it, and you'll get it too when you eat it.

For wheat, which is now going off topic from your question, the GM that they did to dramatically (10x!) increase yields was to make the wheat have more gluten. Gluten did two things: 1) it's more toxic so the smart animals (birds, bugs, rodents, not humans) stay away from it and there's less "damage" to the crop, and 2) it reinforces the stalk which makes it stand up straighter and so you can pack more wheat per acre and it's easier to harvest because it's all uniform.

In general, I view (non-)GM crops like I do antibiotic free meat. The GMness or antibioticness doesn't directly have much of an effect on heath, it's more what then can do the product after it's been modified. For crops, that mean you can spray a GM crop with nastier chemicals than you can a non-GM one. For animals, you can treat an animal given antibiotics worse (bad living conditions) than you can an antibiotic free one. And that's what I care about.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:16 PM

I don't think wheat is actually GM; it's cross-bred til it's got the traits they want. Monsanto would love to sell GM wheat but other countries said no way. http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/02/wheat-is-not-genetically-modified/

F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

(1439)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:03 PM

miked, right on!!! Good answer.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Wheat is actually not GM it is hybridized.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:33 PM

cross breeding is a form of "genetic modification", by selectively breeding different strains, you're modifying the genes of the offspring. It can be done "naturally" by cross breeding or "artificially" by "chemicals" in a "labratory". In the end, it's all the same.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:55 PM

The difference is that GM foods can have genes from other species. cross breeding or hybridizing doesn't go as far.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Yeah, but in the end all you're doing is changing DNA. I don't care if it comes from another species or not, all DNA does is encode sequences of amino acids to make protein. It's not like putting fish DNA in wheat is going to mean your wheat will grow gills and swim away. In the end it's all proteins. Some of those proteins are bad for us (e.g., gluten), but the cross-species part of it isn't solely what makes GM bad.

4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Great answer. I think we get so caught up in thinking about how a certain food impacts our health that we forget about how it's impacting the world around us. Think of the honey bees!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2012
at 10:35 AM

Is gluten really toxic to birds, bugs and rodents? They seen to do well on modern wheat and farmers have to work quite hard to stop them eating it all.

1
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:17 PM

Here is a good article about soy in general - it covers some of the worst things about soy such as the phytoestrogens, goitrogenic substances, phytates, and trypsin inhibitors. It includes links that list hundreds of studies. http://www.foodrenegade.com/dangers-of-soy/

And here's some info about GMOs http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

But... the most important danger of genetically modified food is that we don't know the dangers! There have been NO long term studies! And that's not even including the environmental and economic effects.

0
6ba6dc54fccbb9e01a07595137cecfa2

on July 18, 2012
at 10:40 PM

Soy is just a bean and a bean hated by association with a corporation.

There is no scientific evidence to support the anti soy non sense.

Glyphosate is one of the safest herbicides that man has to use from a toxicity standpoint.Ignorance of this subject matter is well rampant.

6ba6dc54fccbb9e01a07595137cecfa2

(92)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:10 AM

Denial of what evidence?Denial of propaganda is easy. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091208162639.htm Ignorance is and proofreading is not needed by the many.

6ba6dc54fccbb9e01a07595137cecfa2

(92)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:34 AM

http://aocs.files.cms-plus.com/images/informFreeArticles/Soy%20for%20Web--REVISED%203.pdf

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:25 PM

-1 for Monsanto-mongering and outright denial of evidence.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Apparently ignorance of proofreading is also rampant.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:26 AM

If you make a statement like that, be prepared to back it up with some evidence. Do you have studies re: safety etc? Studies not supported by a giant agribusiness corporations?

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