Genetic engineering is a technology being rapidly developed and used these days. It is now widely used in the fields of pharmacology and agriculture amongst other fields. In agriculture, there has been the widespread use of genetic engineering in crops and plants and there also have been widespread application of genetic engineering in animals.
The cloning of Dolly the sheep in in 1997 drew in a lot of controversies as to the extent in which genetic engineering in animals should be used. Nowadays, cloning as well as other forms of genetic engineering is being widely used with animals, especially those which are used for agricultural purposes. However, the question still remains. How safe is this technology and how ethically correct is it?
Is the genetic engineering of animals even humane?
When it comes down to a question of ethics, many still argue as to the propriety of cloning living things, particularly animals and humans. Genetic engineering of animals involves the transfer of genes from other organisms such as humans to produce tissues and proteins which may be useful for humans for medical purposes. These procedures are aimed to improve the quality of livestock by altering animal biochemistry which may make them more resistant to disease.
Despite the good objectives behind genetic engineering of animals lies several questions.
- Won’t this procedure blur the lines of distinction between each type of species?
- When released into the natural environment, how will these transgenic react, adapt and eventually survive?
- Will inserting different animals DNA into other animals create an evolution in certain species?
- Is pain and suffering induced when performing these techniques in animals?
Genetic Engineering In Food Might Leave More Than Just A Bad Taste In Your Mouth
Genetic engineering in animals ultimately results in genetic engineering in food as animals are considered to be food sources. With genetic engineering in food, toxins may be produced due to an exchange of genetic material and proteins between organisms. The effects of these toxins may remain unknown until years after when solutions may be hard to discover. Incorrectly folded proteins introduced in between species may lead to the production of a new strain of viruses which have been unheard of in the past. The worst part is that with the hundreds of risks that genetic engineering in food may present, there is no way to assess the health risks that these different types of ge foods may pose.
The use of GMOs is a thing that needs to be thoroughly tested and assessed. Up to the present, the risks and hazards that come with its use have yet to be fully known and discovered. Furthermore, questions as to ethics when it comes to ge animals should be questioned by the public at large.
- Say no to GMO companies through protests and letters to make them aware of the need for transparency concerning their products
- Consumers should always be aware of where there food is coming from and they should be able to question whenever there is doubt.
- Insist on proper food labeling.
- Be active in advocacies concerning animal rights so that they too are made aware.
- Stop purchasing gmo foods whenever possible.