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Genetic modification and testing: ethical considerations Opinion Essay

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Sciences and in depth knowledge about human and animal genetics has received extensive attention and reached heights that were not expected. Modifications to the genetic information and the types of outcomes have been surprising but at the same time, met with some displeasement.

This sort of engineering has resulted in modified foods, animal testing and several other questionable methods that should be highly controlled and investigated (Banyard, 2005).

Genetic engineering is the modification of genes in a certain way which is desired by humans. It is done on a molecular level by synthesizing DNA, generating sequences and then inserting the received product into the organism which will be the carrier of the outcome. This sort of technique has been around for several decades starting with the first cloning tries.

Many people support the idea but there are also those who say that playing God is wrong and should be off limits for humanity. The real problem is the ethical considerations and the results of such testing (Parmalee, 2010). Very often, the animals will be subjects to a number of procedures that can be painful. As they cannot speak for themselves, they are thought of as perfect test subjects and this leads to a whole number of issues.

The fact is that it is wrong to use animals for these purposes. It is understandable that people are becoming even more curious than before and finding out how genetics and live organisms work is of great significance to science. The only problem is that it is unfair to test on animals because it is not their purpose (Watson, 2009).

A similar procedure can be seen happening with agriculture. Certain types of plants are cross bred, so that new abilities and qualities emerge. This can range from plants being able to withstand cold or hot temperatures, to having greater amounts of fruit. Another possibility is that the time that fruits and vegetables can be stored is increased.

This is another big issue, as people do not want to eat genetically modified products (Kempken, 2010). This has been a problem for some time because this, in turn, leads to animals being fed products that have been artificially grown and then, antibiotics and other chemicals are given as food and this leads to a whole other issue.

The natural foods are now separated into a different category from unnaturally grown and chemically fed. This is a sad fact, as these sorts of products produce allergies and deceases in people.

From one perspective, this sort of modification can be beneficial to people, as they can make new types of foods that are more nutritious and contain more vitamins. But, the negative effect on human health is a concern and should be addressed (Setlow, 2005).

The results of genetic engineering have been successful, as it is existent in the modern world but the long term effects are studied very little. As it has been a recent occurrence, people are not aware of the consequences that might take place. The end result is that people must limit genetic modification as much as possible and closely study the effects on health.

References

Banyard, P. (2005). Ethical issues and guidelines in psychology. New York, United States: Routledge.

Kempken, F. (2010). Genetic Modification of Plants. New York, United States: Springer.

Parmalee, T. (2010). Genetic Engineering EBook. Edina, United States: ABDO.

Setlow, J. (2005). Genetic Engineering: Principles and Methods. New York, United States: Springer.

Watson, S. (2009). Animal Testing: Issues and Ethics. New York, United States: The Rosen Publishing Group.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Genetic modification and testing: ethical considerations." June 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/genetic-modification-and-testing-ethical-considerations/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Genetic modification and testing: ethical considerations'. 11 June.

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