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Morality Of The Genetic Engineering Of Animals

1289 words - 6 pages

Genetic engineering of animals has become a hotly debated topic in both secular and religious settings because of recent technological advances in the field and the profound unnatural outcome of the process. In other words, genetic engineering in animals is a genetic development in organisms that is not in accordance with the laws of nature. Animals that have been genetically altered include micro-organisms such as yeast and fungi and others like mammals, insects, and plants. The primary areas of debate are the labling of GM (genetically modified) foods, the extent of government regulation in the process, concerns about the consequences of genetic modification, and the overall health and safety of animals being used for this system. Because of the countless benefits of pursuing and using genetically engineered animals, the system should continue but should also receive heightened regulation by the government to secure extended rights for animals and proper safety for humans.
Genetic modifying of animals found its beginning and the beginning of controversy in America nearly forty years ago. “Genetic engineering is a process in which scientists use recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology to introduce desirable traits into an organism” (Animal & Veterinary). During 1972, a Stanford University professor documented the first compilation of recombinant DNA, in other words; he recombined DNA molecules from preexisting DNA. Not soon after this discovery, the methodology was pursued by scientists at the University of California where they successfully transferred the recombined DNA into bacteria. Not only could the DNA be properly sustained and duplicated but it could also function like normal cells. Not long after these profound discoveries came developments in the rejection of the process based on health issues posed by the process. Numerous leading biologists and chemists wrote to notable science journals raising concerns about the risks caused by the application of genetically engineered animals. These scientists successfully halted the entire movement for a time and succeeded in gaining government regulation and creating guidelines for the practice which is still widely used today.
A wide variety of benefits to enhancing human/animal health is sought from the process of genetic alteration. Most genetic work stems from biological research that is aimed at understanding gene purpose or studying disease in animals and humans. The possibility of replacing, altering, or removing genes can aid in the investigation of the natural purposes of genes in health and disease and the interaction between genes and external factors, like environment and food intake. Most genetic alterations are performed on cells, plants, or simple beings, such as the earth worm. Genetically modified rats/mice and other animals give numerous benefits in the pursuit of medication for humans and animals alike.
The power to insert or remove genes in the genomes of laboratory rats has...

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