Should Genetically Modified Animals Be Used As Food Sources?

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For thousands of years humans have been manipulating the physical features of animals and plants in order to suit our needs, however over the past century our new found understanding of the most basic feature of all organisms has allowed unparalleled manipulation of other living creatures. We are now capable of manipulating the very genome of an organism, and one of the most common ways that we currently employ that is through genetic modification. This process involves taking specific genes from one type of organism, and adding the genes to a completely different organisms. There are many reasons why we currently genetically modifying organisms, with one of the most commonly known being modifying the DNA of organism used as food sources. This investigation will look at whether or not it is appropriate for genetically modified animals to be used as food. DNA is an organic molecule that contains the genetic information for an organism, and it is coded using two sets of complementary bases, Adenine & Thymine, Cytosine & Guanine. Each of these bases is attached to a sugar phosphate backbone that joins DNA molecules into a strand of DNA, which is base-paired with the complementary bases to form a double helix shaped DNA molecule (National Library of Medicine 2015), as shown in diagram 1 (DNA Structure 2015). Along a stands of DNA are specific sections of bases, known as genes, which allow for the coding of specific proteins. DNA is present within all living organisms on earth, which is indicative that there is a common ancestor for every organism on this planet. Over the lifetime of the earth the DNA of this common ancestor has diversified into the wide variety of animals, plants, and even single cellular organisms (Crierie & Greig 20... ... middle of paper ... ...y personal viewpoint regarding using genetically modified animals as source of food, is generally in favour of not modifying them for this purpose. Although there are some issues regarding food supply that could be solved through genetically modifying animals, they can also be solved through means that don’t risk harming animals. Although I am very hesitant about using genetically modified animals as food, this hesitancy doesn’t extend to genetically modified crops. This issue is a fairly complicated one, with many more moral dilemmas, and hypothetical risks than are discussed. However one thing that can be concluded is that there is a lack of urgency for the benefits of genetically modified animals, and most of their current benefits can be acquired elsewhere. In the future there may be a need for genetically modified animals, however that is not currently the case.

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