Free Research Paper On Genetic Engineering: Benefits Vs. Risks
Genetic engineering received both positive and negative responses from the public. Positive responses generally came from people who celebrated scientific advances while negative responses were mostly generated from the more conservative part of the population who believed that nature should be left untouched to preserve its sanctity.
Benefits and Disadvantages
Among the benefits of genetic engineering forwarded by scientists are related to agriculture. Through genetic engineering, increasing problems on urbanization, pests and shipping had been addressed. Urbanization reduced the area of farmlands resulting to decreasing quantities of harvests. However, though biotechnology, small farms are able to yield large harvests. Another advantage of genetic engineering is the resistance of crops from pests and herbicides. As such, crops grow steadily without the need to worry much about pests that damage the plants. Lastly, biotechnology also enables food to withstand long-distance shipping and slow down the process of ripening. Through these, food supply become more abundant and cheaper (Peacock, 2010).
On the other hand, some people believe that the disadvantages of genetic engineering outweigh the advantages. For example, while most people admit that it can improve our way of life by introducing advances in agriculture and health, the technology can be harmful because it is susceptible of being exploited by big companies which are only primarily concerned with their own financial gain. For example, companies may control agricultural supply by monopolizing the production of genetically engineered crops. This will leave farmers totally dependent on them because other sources would not produce as much yield (Morgan, 2006). Because of this, farming will become controlled by big companies. In addition, this will also pose threats to health because the ecological effects of genetically engineered crops are unpredictable and irreversible (Miller, 2006).
While genetic engineering is a great scientific advancement, it cannot be denied that its complexities limit its understandability to only a few people. In this field, scientists are regarded as the gatekeepers (Herring, 2006). Therefore, it becomes difficult for everyone to fully comprehend the advantages and disadvantages it pose. Personally, I believe I have to cope with the fast pace of genetic engineering developments in order to give an intelligent opinion on the matter. For now, I can only give my thoughts on its basic application in agriculture and health.
I believe that genetic engineering is a good development because it improves our understanding of the natural world. This development is similar to the discovery of atoms and molecules which helped human beings to correctly understand scientific phenomena. Genetic engineering helps us know the basic characteristics of living things while allowing us to introduce changes to improve its state. However, I believe that with more information, humanity is vested with more responsibilities. Among the important responsibilities that people should observe is the responsibility to learn more about this subject. For me, the advantages currently enjoyed by people are good. Nevertheless, government bodies should always be vigilant in guarding against the harmful use of this technology such as economic manipulation. I believe that nature allows a certain degree of intervention from human beings because resources exist to help us. However, we must not abuse our dominance over these resources because when we harm nature, we are harming ourselves. Hence, I believe that science should always be taken advantage to improve our health and lifestyle but we need not intervene when such is unnecessary for our basic needs.
Herring, M. Y. (2006). Genetic Engineering. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Miller, G. (2006). Environmental Science: Working with the Earth. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.
Morgan, S. (2006). Genetic Engineering: The Facts. London: Evans Brothers,Ltd.
Peacock, K. W. (2010). Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. New York: Infobase Publishing, Inc.
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