Many animal species have been genetically altered for various reasons. Scientists, however, have pointed out a lot of disadvantages and threats that come with cloning animals. Most of the attempts are for commercial reasons, by creating animals that can be sold as pets, for agribusiness or for food consumption. Other attempts in creating GMO animals are scientific in nature, with the next possible step finding a means to clone humans.
Experts Warn Of The Dangers Of GE Animals
In medical science, several kinds of transgenic research for commercial purposes are still untested for safety and efficacy. To mix human and nonhuman proteins is known to be the cause of the mad cow disease, which is passed on via prions. An expert said that the risk of animal viruses and prions being passed on through goat and cow milk is a possibility. There is a chance that new disease strains will be created inadvertently, and the chance is rather high.
GE animals also present the threat of changing the genetic composition of other animal species. A transgenic animal can enter into circulation or the wild, thereby mating with natural or indigenous animals that will ultimately contaminate the gene pool. Several consequences can result to this situation, including the possibility of driving the indigenous species into extinction. In the same way, a wild animal can enter a pen where transgenic animal species are being kept, then mate and escape back into the wild where other indigenous species will be exposed.
Proof That Genetic Engineering Food Is A Bad Idea
Experts believe that there can be harmful effects on the environment and other organisms by creating GE food. According to a study, the creation of genetically modified salmon has caused changes in the natural cycle of salmon reproduction, as well as the genetic composition of wild salmon in the areas involved, also causing problems during consumption. The fish was then given the name “Frankenfish” because of the ill threats it posed to everything around it.
Unintended harm can be done to other species. Another study showed that the pollen coming from B.t. corn led to a lot of deaths among monarch butterfly caterpillars. Even though monarch caterpillars eat milkweed plants and not corn, B.t. corn can be blown by the wind to neighboring fields. Caterpillars will then continue to eat milkweed plants in the area, including the pollen then die.
Consuming genetically engineering food will also pose a lot of health risks and threats to humans. Allergenicity is one of the common problems, wherein a new allergen can lead to allergic reactions to people, through the introduction of a gene to an animal or plant. It is important to fully test the food first to prevent further harm to consumers. Labeling is also needed in the products to provide sufficient information to consumers. Some studies also show alterations and problems in the anatomy of laboratory rats that continued to thrive on genetically altered foods. Other risks and effects are still unknown which is why people should be careful at all times.