Today people go to the super market thinking they are getting good clean healthy products, but instead half of what they are buying has undergone genetic therapy. You pick up a beautiful looking red tomato and you think it has probably been on the vine the longest, but in fact almost all tomatoes found in super markets are picked when they are green and then injected with red dye to make them appear healthy. The milk you buy has come from a cow that has been altered to produce more milk. The bigger chicken breasts at the store come from a genetically altered chicken to make more breast meat for consumers. This is what society has come to, altering animals and natural vegetation for consumers. When testing with living creatures where do people give room for genetic fail and mishap.
genetic engineering of plants and animals should be left to nature to take its toll instead of the hands of the irrational scientists. Genetically engineered agriculture is not beneficial enough to do good in todays society. I must agree with John Keehn a freelance writer in New York who quotes No one really knows what effect splicing in… other genes into a plant would have (74).
While many of todays super foods are on the shelves at every grocer, you have to wonder what detrimental side effects lie in store for the consumers. The universal consumer must start worrying that biotechnology could indeed intensify the worlds food state by continuing to leave genetic resources in the hands of blind sighted corporations.
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Today gene splicing in agriculture allows scientists to mutate crops to behave or show certain characteristics. For example if a certain species of animal is facing extinction due to lack of vegetation, then scientists are now able to alter plant to begin to show those traits to provide the species with a food supply. Now, where does this leave the natural selection process. Who are we to save the species when we have let science into the hands of people who take farming away from the family farmer and put it into the hands of the gigantic corporations. Recently scientists have come up with herbicide tolerant crops. This is supposed to lead farmers away from using harsh herbicides like atrazine.
The draw back is what happens when the weeds and vegetation begin to build up a resistance to the herbicide tolerant plants. Just because the new herbicides are less harmful doesnt mean they are harmless. New laboratory tests have shown that the new herbicides cause birth defects in animals and may pose developmental risks to the future offspring of those applying the chemical. If all these threats and dangers are present why do we continue with altering and modifying the natural vegetation. Those who try to oppose the idea of biotechnology in agriculture are looked upon as people who are only stubborn to technological change. As Keehn later explains This is what makes it difficult for anyone -government officials, research scientists, farmers or consumers- to stop and consider where biotechnology is taking us and we really want to go (81).
Genetically altering animals is cruel and not in good nature of science. How many times do you hear the phrase in the name of science. Well it no longer is an excuse. True it would be a miracle to wipe out diseases with medical science, but not at the expense of animals. Until recently I was not aware that there are organizations that actually promote the use of laboratory animals. It is called American Association For Animal Science.
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Although as I began touring the web site I of course found that one argument was in the name of science. Frequently the radio and television broadcasts specials about animal activists protesting, but it never occurred to me their reasoning. Genetic engineering was supposed to create a super pig in which it would grow fast, produce high quality meat, and be super big. Although that didnt occur and what was left was an excessively hairy, arthritic, cross eyed pig who had a difficult time standing up. So is this what science is going to do to people because they couldnt work out all the kinks Scientists are now producing sheep that grow thirty percent faster than normal ones, injecting approximately ten thousand pig embryos with growth genes, and giving cows certain hormones in order to produce more milk. I believe Andrew Kimbrell best puts it by stating Genetic engineering not only causes great animal suffering but also puts the genetic integrity of many species of animals at risk (102).
For example, putting growth hormones in cows to produce more milk is dangerous. Milk from the cows is likely to contain more antibiotics, hormones and dispersed pus; yet the FDA allows the milk to be sold. If the federal government and scientists dont stop ignoring animal suffering and the ethics behind it we may all be in danger. Although there are good sides to looking at genetic engineering of animals and plants. According to John Dyson a writer for Readers Digest The green gene technology that crated a tastier tomato will also benefit the environment and help feed the ten billion mouths that will be here in half a lifetime. The idea of producing more quantities of food to feed people is definitely a benefit.
With new technology crops will be able to travel longer distances and have longer shelf life without rotting. Having fruits and vegetables freeze well without going mushy. This bold new technology will help farmers save thousands of dollars each year. Also genetic testing of animals may have some benefits after all.
If genetic engineering were allowed to be executed to livestock, the animals may benefit by producing healthier offspring and not carrying disease that could hurt humans if ingested. Also animals that are resistant to certain disease or environmental conditions could survive in additional areas making better use of land and natural resource. Another added feature is that famine could be diminished and perhaps local exporting might begin to improve our economy status. There are a great amount of benefits that can could come from genetic engineering, but we must decide if we want to risk it. Should we endanger the lives of animals and perhaps put ourselves at risk just to attempt to make things more convenient for us. We must wonder if all the good coming out of this really is worth the loss that either the animals or us are taking.
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Saving the worlds hunger problem doesnt seem like it would happen just because we saved a few cows lives. I hope that technology takes its time in coming around because the public today is easily persuaded and I hope nothing harsh would come of it.