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a radical new technology, one that breaks down fundamental genetic barriersnot only between species, but also between humans, animals, and plants. By combining the genes of dissimilar and unrelated species, permanently altering their genetic codes, novel organisms are created that will pass onto their offspring through heredity. Scientists are now snipping, inserting, recombining, rearranging, editing and programming genetic material. Genetic engineering poses unprecedented ethical and social concerns, as well as serious challenges to the environment, human health, animal welfare, and the future of agriculture. (Cummins e1)
The facts behind genetic engineering are being covered up and made to seem like a perfectly harmless matter. Some like Bernard Gert, believe, "the potential risks to all of the future descendants of the patient outweigh any benefit to a very small number of persons who might benefit"(Gert e4). Cloning and genetic engineering is Biblically wrong, unethical, dehumanizing, and should be banned or severely limited.
To fully comprehend the techniques and processes of genetic engineering, it is best to start with the understanding of basic biology and anatomy. A cell is the smallest living unit known to man, and the basic functioning structure of all living matter. Humans are made up of millions of these cells. Each cell is composed of a nucleus, and within the nucleus lie chromosomes. Chromosomes serve as the housing unit for DNA. DNA is what defines an organism and its characteristics. Genetic engineering uses the DNA and a set of techniques to cut up and seal them to any other organism's genes.
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In attempt to increase the nutritional value of soybeans, a genetic engineering firm experimentally transferred a Brazil nut gene producing a nutritious protein into the soybean plant. However, when a study found that the genetically engineered soybeans caused an allergic reaction in people sensitive to Brazil nuts, the project was canceled (Encarta 7).
It's apparent that the product of this experiment was proven dangerous and could have been fatal to those severely allergic to the genetically modified soybean.
Many people are under the false illusion of human cloning. Many believe that cloning will make the exact replica of that person. This is not true. When an adult is cloned, an embryo is created, not another adult. The embryo does contain the same genetic information as the adult being cloned but, the embryo must go through many years of social development in an environment that is significantly different from which the adult being cloned developed in.
Many problems exist to this day that have been and traced back to a set of genetically modified genes, genetically "enhanced" foods, and genetic altering. Mad Cow disease is a brain disorder found in cattle that were fed recycled animal tissues as a protein supplement that had been genetically modified so the dairy cattle would produce more milk. This system forces the cattle into cannibalism. The cows ate cows and grew fatter, making more milk and meat. These procedures seemed acceptable to the owners because more products meant increased profits. At first the population didn't take the situation seriously until they became infected and eventually died from it. "In 1996 the British Ministry of Agriculture informed that the animal feed made from animal blood, fat, and gelatin was safe for cattle and not harmful to human health" (Galeano e4). There have been one hundred and seventy thousand confirmed cases of the disease in both humans and cattle since 1986 (Encarta 2). This could have been prevented had the government taken the proper procedure in this situation. There clearly were not enough tests and experiments done to prevent it.
Because of the governments failure to protect their citizens many families had to suffer losses. The Governments all over the world are not doing enough to caution the citizens of their countries. The United States Food And Drug Association (FDA) has authorized that sale of milk, produced by cattle whose eaten genetically modified feed, without the mention of this fact on the label (Galeano 2). Monsanto, the main provider of these products, should not have had a choice to add this to their labels. This is unacceptable and unheard of. There are genetically produced proteins in the milk that could possibly have fatal reactions to anyone who's allergic. In August 1998, thirty-seven foods and crops have been approved for commercialization in the United States. The United States require absolutely no pre-market safety testing or labeling (Cummins e1). This statistic could prove to be another case of the mad cow disease. There should be pre-market testing on all foods; genetically modified and organics naturally grown. The dangers of genetic engineering are countless and growing. A large problem that faces us in this world today is poverty. Third world country's citizens are poor; they simply cannot afford to buy food. There is not a lack of food (Claims and Facts e1). Genetic engineering will not solve this. There are many facts that the people do not know. Crops are now being created to make and produce their own pesticides that have been qualified by the EPA. Crops that have been genetically engineered are losing almost all of the plants nutrients that they had in its organic state. There are many effects on both the environment and to humans that no one knows about, even the scientists who created the altered organisms. There just simply have not been enough studies and experiments done on the foods (Dangers e1). The Government is simply not doing enough to protect their citizens in situations like this. A company that was responsible for over a thousand sicknesses due to genetically modified genes found in turkey was fined a bulk rate of only three thousand dollars per incident (Galeano e2). That is not justice.
Cloning is unethical and it is also against the Bible. God created humans to be different and unique, not so everyone can be the same.
All people have a God-given dignity that presents us from using them as mere means to achieve our purposes. Knowing that people are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), Biblical writers in both the Old and New Testaments periodically invoke this truth about human beings to argue that people should not be demeaned in various ways (Genesis 9:6; James 3:9). (Kilner e4)
When a person has the ability to choose what that child will look like is against the Bible and all its perspectives.
There are many solutions that the government can do to prevent the progress of genetic engineering in the genetically altering of genes in food and organisms. The foods should be banned until it is proven safe for everyone. The government is only going to change what citizens want to change. The first step the people should do is to write a letter to your congressman and explain to them the importance of banning these crops and the further support of cloning. It is also important for people to know that they are not obligated to buy these foods at this point. The way we are living right now, there are still organic foods on the shelves. On the rate we are going there will be genetically modified foods on all the shelves in our supermarkets in the near future. Seed contamination is the mixing of genetically modified seeds and those that are supposed to be organic. It also occurs when some pollen from nearby farms reach those of organic seeds. The first step we should do is preventing the mixing of the seeds so the people still have a choice from each of the foods. Until this happens there should be labeling on all the containers of the foods that have one or more genetically modified ingredients. All the potentially harmful organisms that have even the slightest chance of effecting that environment should be banned from the start. Another step that people should make would be to write documents with well-known facts about the negative effects and give them to friends, co-workers, family, unions, and clubs so that they fully understand the problems with this. There are many social problems that come with genetic engineering. These include: opening new doors for discrimination, denying of health insurance due to faulty genes, and break the natural bond between the families. The only way to solve these bad situations is to completely ban the genetically altering of plants, animals, and humans.
Genetic Engineering is not safe and should be banned until further tests have been and the scientists behind this have cleared the products from all of the current defaults. The stop in human cloning and the alteration of genes in plants will not stop the advance of medicines and vaccines. Every human embryo has the potential to become a human being. When a human embryo is taken from the parent human to be changed and then created, it will become a human being. Human beings have a set of rights that the governments are deemed to follow. The human to be rights are violated when the genes are being altered. Without regulations or banning, the cloning and genetic engineering of all organisms may be abused. There are laws and regulations for many controversial topics, such as abortion, guns, alcohol, and medical treatments. Cloning and genetic engineering should not be treated any differently from those.