Dangers And Consequences Of Genetic Engineering

1195 words - 5 pages

Dangers and Consequences of Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering will be deadly. The harmful effects of this gene manipulation will not be

discovered for years, and it will be too late to reverse the damage.

The tools of genetic engineering are natural substances that control biochemical reactions

that work like chemical scissors and glue, cutting and pasting DNA molecules and sticking them

into the DNA of microbes. The microbes with these transplanted genes may be commercially

useful because they can produce proteins that cannot be obtained economically from other

sources, or scientists can just take advantage of nature's own genetic ability, using the microbes

to insert the transplanted genes into plant cells. Genetically engineered microbes and plants

express the traits coded in the new genes and pass these traits on to their offspring. If a problem

occurred, then it would be passed on to each new offspring and eventually contaminate most, if

not all, of that species of plant or animal.

Changing the genetic makeup of cells will cause new diseases, make new and higher levels

of toxins, damage the ecosystem, increase pollution of food and water supplies, trigger allergic

reactions, decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics and create many other side effects of the

releasing these modified foods and organisms into our ecosystem. These fears are coming from

not only the moderately informed general public, but primarily from scientists in this field who

have studied and researched this technology for many years and acknowledge the enormous risks

involved.

"Introductions of these Genetically Engineered Organisms might create new human

diseases, spawn new plant or animal pests, or otherwise disrupt delicate ecological balances, just

as introductions of exotic species have done in the past." (William Dudley, Genetic

Engineering Opposing View Points, 173.)

Because genetically engineered products are alive, they are inherently much more

unpredictable than chemical products. Genetically manipulated products can reproduce, mutate,

grow, and migrate. When they are released into the natural environment it is impossible to recall

them, they are living organisms and it would not be viable. This is especially true because they

would be microscopic viruses and bacteria, which are a definite threat and very likely to result

from their release.

Several previous technologies have been proven to have adverse effects, like the incident

of tryptophan. "In 1989, a genetically engineered form of the food supplement tryptophan

produced toxic contaminants. As a result, 37 people died, 1500 others were permanently disabled,

and 500 others became very ill. This mistake could happen again." ( Eosinophilia-mygalgia

syndrome and tryptophan production: a cautionary tale. Mayeno, A.N.Gleich, G.L.Tibtech, 12,

346-352.)

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