The Dark Side of Genetic Engineering

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I never knew what genetic engineering was until I watched a special on the Discovery channel. The special showed scientists forming the first “perfect” embryo. What was very shocking was that the scientists kept asking each other what traits this embryo should compose of. To me that was disturbing and unethical to make a living human being based on what traits the parents would want them to have. This process goes against nature just as Francis Bacon said “if we would control nature, we must first obey her” (Fox 193). Genetic Engineering does not end world hunger or cure diseases but it takes lives, harms the environment and causes new diseases to emerge. According to Genetic Engineering Opposing Viewpoints, genetic engineering is a science where genes can be altered and manipulated in different ways to adjust the characteristics of an organism or a group of organisms, also known as biotechnology. Genetic Engineering was first introduced to the world in the 1970’s as a result of genetics and study of hereditary (Stich 12). One result of genetic engineering technology is defective animals. As Dr. John Hasler cofounder of an animal biotechnology company in Pennsylvania predicted, “We’re going to make animals that nature never made” (Johnson 18). With transgenic (transferring genes from one species to another) research, animals are “custom-designed” to being disease “models.” An experiment was conducted by the U.S Department of Agriculture; the experimenters inserted a human growth hormone into pigs to create animals that grow faster and bigger then their siblings on less food. The experiment backfired leaving the pigs with many different diseases such as arthritis, gastric ulcers, enlarged hearts, kidney problems, and dermatitis (Johnson 18). If this experiment was never conducted by the U.S Department of Agriculture, who are suppose to protect the environment including animals, the pigs would have a healthier life and grow at a normal rate without the suffering from diseases that plague our world. This is one form of animal cruelty. Many supporters of genetic engineering have said that the technology can end world hunger. According to Stephen Leahy, in his article he states that even though world hunger is a major economical and social problem, genetically altered crops cannot sustain the number of people that live on the planet. The GE crops that are being grown such as cotton, corn and soy are all engineered to resist herbicides and only can be afforded by big commercial companies (Leahy 50).
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