Genetic Engineering is NOT Ethical

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Abstract: Recent developments in genomic research have enabled humans to manipulate the genes of living organisms with genetic engineering. This poses a threat to nature's carefully balanced environment, since humans are constructing organisms that nature never intended to exist. Furthermore, the United States government does not require that genetically altered foods be labeled as such. Is this ethically responsible? Should we continue with these scientific advances if we do not understand their consequences? This paper analyzes the above questions. In a life of technological advancement, we are faced with many ethical issues regarding the natural world. Humans have become capable of scientifically manipulating genes to create organisms that nature never intended to exist. Although we have the technology at our disposal, is it ethical to change living organisms to better satisfy our own needs? Is it environmentally sound? Do we know enough about the consequences of such activities to make safe judgments? Many companies have made large profits on genetically altered materials. Tomatoes are bigger and corn is golder. Consumers are happier. The United States Food and Drug Administration does not require that farmers label their genetically engineered products. So why should we care about genetically altered foods? Genes may be likened to individual computer programs or routines for human development. In DNA, we have code for the makeup of a specific organism and all of its traits. Manipulating this code is, in theory, hacking into a system to which we do not and, I believe, should not have access. Ron Epstein describes genetic engineering as "the artificial modification of the genetic code of a livi... ... middle of paper ... ... that now exists. In addition, if humans are given the power to manipulate the genes of living organisms, what prohibits us from building our own humans, from constructing computers that look and act like humans, and from slowly eliminating all of nature's intentions in order to formulate a world that we select? References: 1 Epstein, Ron. "Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering." http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/GE%20Essays/Redesigning.htm. 2 Grogan, John and Cheryl Long. "The Problem with Genetic Engineering." Organic Gardening Magazine, 2000. 3 Sterling, John. "Why Patagonia? Why now?" From the Early Spring 2001 Patagonia Catalog. Reno: Patagonia, 2001. 23. 4 Grogan and Long. "The Problem with Genetic Engineering." 5 Epstein. "Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering."

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