Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering will be deadly. The harmful effects of this gene manipulation will not be discovered for years, and it will be too late to reverse the damage. The tools of genetic engineering are natural substances that control biochemical reactions that work like chemical scissors and glue, cutting and pasting DNA molecules and sticking them into the DNA of microbes.

The microbes with these transplanted genes may be commercially useful because they can produce proteins that cannot be obtained economically from other ources, or scientists can just take advantage of nature’s own genetic ability, using the microbes to insert the transplanted genes into plant cells. Genetically engineered microbes and plants express the traits coded in the new genes and pass these traits on to their offspring.

If a problem occurred, then it would be passed on to each new offspring and eventually contaminate most, if not all, of that species of plant or animal. Changing the genetic makeup of cells will cause new diseases, make new and higher levels of toxins, damage the ecosystem, increase pollution of food and water supplies, trigger allergic eactions, decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics and create many other side effects of the releasing these modified foods and organisms into our ecosystem.

These fears are coming from not only the moderately informed general public, but primarily from scientists in this field who have studied and researched this technology for many years and acknowledge the enormous risks “Introductions of these Genetically Engineered Organisms might create new human diseases, spawn new plant or animal pests, or otherwise disrupt delicate ecological balances, just s introductions of exotic species have done in the past. ” (William Dudley, Genetic Engineering Opposing View Points, 173.

Because genetically engineered products are alive, they are inherently much more unpredictable than chemical products. Genetically manipulated products can reproduce, mutate, grow, and migrate. When they are released into the natural environment it is impossible to recall them, they are living organisms and it would not be viable. This is especially true because they would be microscopic viruses and bacteria, which are a definite threat and very likely to result Several previous technologies have been proven to have adverse effects, like the incident of tryptophan.

In 1989, a genetically engineered form of the food supplement tryptophan produced toxic contaminants. As a result, 37 people died, 1500 others were permanently disabled, and 500 others became very ill. This mistake could happen again. ” ( Eosinophilia-mygalgia syndrome and tryptophan production: a cautionary tale. Mayeno, A. N. Gleich, G. L. Tibtech, 12, Another example of the devastating results unexpected by their developers was DDT. It urned out to accumulate in fish and thin the shells of fish-eating birds such as osprey and eagles.

And chlorofluorocarbons were found to float into the upper atmosphere and destroy the ozone layer that protects the earth from harmful radiation. With what has happened in past circumstances where a newly developed drug or product was believed to be safe and released to the public or into the environment and then caused serious, irreversible destruction, our government does not seem to have learned from their mistakes and are not taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of these products. The current Federal regulatory system is inadequate.

To assure protection of health and the environment. The federal policies are confusing, duplicative, and operating without clear Congressional sanction. The current controls are a loose patchwork, pieced together across five agencies and at least ten different laws, all of which predate genetic engineering. They are not equipped with the authority, the coordination, or the resources to adequately address the If the release of these organisms were regulated sufficiently, then the other risks associated ith genetic engineering would lessen slightly.

Chances of the unexpected happening would not be there. Things such as new diseases being created would not be so likely to happen because there would be no opportunity for it. Unfortunately, with the lack of control on genetically manipulated organisms, new diseases are very likely to result. Changing the fundamental make-up of a food could cause new diseases just as herbicides and pesticides have done in the past. What is worse is that not only could genetic engineering cause new diseases, they could also heighten ld diseases because of the decreased effectiveness of antibiotics that could occur.

That is possible because antibiotic resistance genes are incorporated into nearly every genetically engineered food as markers to indicate that an organism has been successfully engineered. Scientists expect these genes and their enzyme products, which inactivate antibiotics, to be present in engineered foods. Another way it could heighten old diseases is the deletion of important food elements. “Genetic engineers may intentionally remove or inactivate a substance they consider undesirable in a food.

This substance may have an unknown but essential quality, such as cancer-inhibiting abilities. ” (M. W. Pariza, Report 2, National Agricultural Biotechnology Council in Ithaca New York, 170) An argument used to defend genetic manipulation is to state that mankind has been altering living species accidentally and purposely, since even before recorded history began. They also state that these new techniques merely improve those efforts by farmers that planted seeds of wild plants and later selected the most productive of their domesticated plants to produce better rops next season.

That argument is not entirely correct. Those methods used in earlier times, unlike genetic engineering, did not cross species boundaries to produce their more favourable harvests, it was still nature doing the mixing and some things cannot be crossed in nature that can be with genetic engineering, and that is where the problem is. Scientists do not know what the consequences will be in years to come from crossing species or deleting food elements that they consider undesirable or unimportant which could of been working together with another element

In the past, we have often ventured into the unknown with our new technologies, only to find out later that they did have substantial consequences we didn’t anticipate. In human genetic engineering we reduce the human species to a technologically designed product. Genetic engineering is the most powerful tool ever invented to control life. To whom do we entrust the power to determine which genes should be engineered and recombined in and between microbes. , plants animals and humans?

French researcher, Jean Dausset suggests hat gene manipulation poses great potential hazzards that could open the door to Nazi-like atrocities where those in charge decide what constitutes undesirables. If we choose to redesign ourselves by genetic manipulation, we are choosing the idea of perfection over the uniqueness of individuality with all its faults. In return for securing our own physical well-being we are forced to accept the idea of reducing the human species to a technologically designed product. Genetic engineering poses the most fundamental of questions. Is guaranteeing our health worth trading away our humanity?

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