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"The moral, ethical and legal issues surrounding Genetic Engineering"

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Introduction

"The moral, ethical and legal issues surrounding Genetic Engineering" Genetic engineering (GE) is the artificial alteration of the genetic code. It is a laboratory technique used by scientists. With natural breeding, genes are passed down generations, but with new technology scientists are able to identify an individual gene, and insert it into another organism, which will then carry the characteristic of that gene. Human control over genes is not new it has been done for centuries, such as plant cross breeding. When taking genes from one species to another is known as transgenic. Transgenic manipulation is new to the world and people have subjective and objective views on them. Scientists say GE may bring large advantages to humans and the way they live. Critics argue that genetic engineering can destroy and risk the pure and natural human being. There are number of advantages and disadvantages in genetic engineering but disaster can be avoided if great care and consequences are detected. All religious groups may argue that GE is unnatural, and the scientists are 'playing God'. ...read more.

Middle

This is what is happening now, if GE is stopped, the world will be limited food supply and therefore hunger. Therefore food will be much more expensive and poor would not be able to afford it. Crops can have longer shelf lives than conventional crops, therefore benefit to shoppers and sellers. E.g. tomatoes, scientists can stop enzymes by changing their structure therefore enzyme stops working so it doesn't make the tomato getting old. On the other hand if enzymes (that stops ageing of tomato) stop working they will still be left in the tomato and when we eat they will be in our body and can damage or destroy our cells. (Ref: 3) Using modern biotechnology scientists have already produced food which affect humans indirectly. Food with improved flavour, food that is better for health and food with better qualities. Examples of these are apples and sweet corns that are insect resistant, frost resistant strawberries and production of seedless grapes (terminator genes). (Ref: 6) This might sound good but without seeds they will then not grow this means that scientist would then need to keep on cloning to produce the seedless grapes. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Ref: 2) There are more serious issues about GE which include genetic warfare of ethno-bombs. This can be used to finish off the enemies of particular human race at a particular place. Scientist can control a bomb that can kill people with particular genes. This can kill innocent people. This is an example of how human technology can lead to violent and danger. This relates to all ethical, social and environmental issues. Genetic warfare is immoral all the society are against it because it can destroy humans, crops/food therefore food will be hard to grow, it can destroy the o-zone layer and it can destroy trees therefore less oxygen available in air. From the evidence I have gained, I can see that the problems form a strong argument against it. In theory, GE seems like progression in the right direction, however, there are many disadvantages. A large area of concern is the ethics of GE. People may disagree with it because it is unnatural. However, I do think that it is acceptable to a certain extent, such as cloning an organ for curing or saving a life, but not cloning an entire person. ...read more.

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