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Pros And Cons Of Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering involves forming new organisms or improving the existing versions after
manipulating their genomes (Old & Primrose, 1981). Scientific discipline of biotechnology and its
relevant concepts are consulted to engineer genetically. According to various texts, genetic engineering
emerged in 1973 and it has revolutionized molecular biology. Bacteria are the first genetically modified
organisms and rat is the first animal to be modified genetically (Genomenewsnetwork.org, 2017). Dolly
is the first mammal to have been produced after cloning in 1996. Initially perceived healthy and normal,
it could live for six year only (Solter, 1998).

Genetic Engineering has vast applications in various areas which include medicine, research, industry
and agriculture etc (Boundless, 2017). For instance, genetic engineering has been used to protect plants
from insects and herbicides etc. Gene therapy is a recently evolved discipline which involves
modifications of human genes for improved health and eliminating diseases etc. In livestock, the
concepts are applied for making cows produce more milk and cheese. Similarly, there are also some
initiatives being undertaken to engineer more healthy fish species. Evolution of genetic engineering has
helped visualize a quality human life in which one can realize living longer, eating healthier food and
lower susceptibility to disease and suffering (Nature.com, 2017).

On the other hand, Genetic Engineering is also condemned owing to some controversies. There are
various movements which challenge genetic manipulation of biological organisms on ethical, economical
and ecological grounds (Sadler & Zeidler, 2004). The questions arise owing to concerns over the safety of
resulting food from health and environmental angles. For instance, any potential consequences of
genetic engineering are irreversible because re-modification is nearly impossible. Besides, it is said that
socio-naturalistic features are almost non-existent in species and plants engineered the artificial way.
Some religious and orthodox groups condemn Genetic Engineering because they think it illegitimately
authorizes a human being to amend the traits endowed by nature or, in order words, imitate godly
features (Newswithviews.com, 2017).

As a result various protests and international disputes have emerged. According to some factions the
process of modifying organisms alone effects the environment and the relative ambient elements. There
are also questions over the harms genetically modified fishes can have on the extra-sea environment.
Such fish have high levels of growth hormone which may affect the consumers. Research outcomes are
still pending and the proponents demand addressing their concerns prior to allowing Genetic
Engineering practices go on a wider scale. Owing to such differences of opinions the regulations
addressing the topic vary from country to country (World Health Organization, 2017).

Irrespective of the doubts statistics has shown the incorporation of genetic-engineering as economically
beneficial for farmers (Areal, Riesgo & Cerezo; 2013). Also, there exists scientific consensus about safety
of food from Genetically Modified crops. Holistically, all of us must agree with the apothem 'change is
inevitable and diversity is strength'. To survive, we must accept adapting to the characteristics of rapidly
changing world. Although there is a space to research more in the realm of Genetic Engineering, we
cannot suppress the relevant maneuvers in a long run. Rather than dispelling genetics, there is a need to
devise solid policy mechanisms which can assure safe and riskless utilization of the genetically-modified
products.

REFERENCES

Old, R.W. and Primrose, S.B., 1981. Principles of gene manipulation: an introduction to genetic
engineering (Vol. 2). Univ of California Press.

Genomenewsnetwork.org. (2017). GNN - Genetics and Genomics Timeline. [online] Available at:
http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/resources/timeline/1973_Boyer.php [Accessed 31 Aug.
2017].

Solter, D., 1998. Dolly is a clone--and no longer alone. Nature, 394(6691), p.315.

Boundless. (2017). Applications of Genetic Engineering. [online] Available at:


https://www.boundless.com/microbiology/textbooks/boundless-microbiology-textbook/microbial-
genetics-7/genetic-engineering-products-93/applications-of-genetic-engineering-498-6642/
[Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].

Nature.com. (2017). Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) | Learn Science at Scitable. [online]
Available at: https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/genetically-modified-organisms-gmos-
transgenic-crops-and-732 [Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].

Sadler, T.D. and Zeidler, D.L., 2004. The morality of socioscientific issues: Construal and resolution of
genetic engineering dilemmas. Science education, 88(1), pp.4-27.

Newswithviews.com. (2017). Greg Ciola -- Does Genetic Engineering Have God's Endorsement?.
[online] Available at: https://www.newswithviews.com/Ciola/greg4.htm [Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].

World Health Organization. (2017). Q&A: genetically modified food. [online] Available at:
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/
[Accessed 31 Aug. 2017].

Areal, F.J., Riesgo, L. and Rodriguez-Cerezo, E., 2013. Economic and agronomic impact of
commercialized GM crops: a meta-analysis. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 151(1), pp.7-33.