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'Genetic Engineering has been regarded 'as a major breakthrough in the fight against disease' and will allow 'increased food production'. However, some people believe that scientists are in danger of 'creating a monster and should not meddle with nature'.

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Introduction

Jennifer James 12SM 'Genetic Engineering has been regarded 'as a major breakthrough in the fight against disease' and will allow 'increased food production'. However, some people believe that scientists are in danger of 'creating a monster and should not meddle with nature'. Genetic engineering is a new science. It has the potential to be used for good or bad, to change the planet irreversibly. The state of scientific knowledge in this area is growing day by day. This is the beginning of what must be an ongoing debate, if the public is to have confidence in the moral, ethical, scientific and commercial decisions that are taken with regard to genetic engineering. Moral values of a certain topic can vary between different people, and often leads to conflict. This has happened in the Genetically Modified (GM) foods debate. The definition of Genetically Modified foods from the EC novel foods regulation is "a food which is, or which is made from, a genetically modified organism... containing genetic material or protein resulting from the modification". "Ethical decisions involve weighing up risks against the benefits". The morals of an individual rely on their "feeling rather than facts" of a situation. ...read more.

Middle

Dr. Francis H. C. Crick, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1962 states "Humans probably will not be improved or altered by genetic manipulation in the future; education and environment are more important than genetics". Religious groups feel very strongly about GM foods. They want nature to run without human interference and also the feeling that you "shouldn't mess with what God designed, humans aren't the creator". For example, Hindus treat cows as sacred and to Jews and Muslims pigs are considered un-clean, so they would be unable to consume products from these organisms. There are two extreme views about GM crops. The positive view taken by the government and the GM companies, and the stronger negative view held by the media, the public and environmental awareness companies. The newspapers can now 'name and shame' test sites of GM crops. This could lead Greenpeace activists to destroy the sites like on 26th July 1999 when 28 people made a dawn raid on a 28-acre crop. Media can be partly to blame for the hype surrounding GM crops. This is because ethics rather than facts are emphasised as main points in many articles. ...read more.

Conclusion

I shall finish with a quote from Jack B. Bresler "Is the human body a sacred vessel of man's soul and spirit, or is he merely at that position in biological evolution to know that he is a part of evolution and can do something about his own future evolution?" Word Count 1, 083 words Biography * Keeping the balance; policies on genetic modification- Liberal Democrats * Tomorrow's Biodiversity- Vandana Shiva * Biopiracy: the plunder of nature and knowledge- Vandana Shiva * Genetically engineered organisms: benefits and risks- J.R.S. Fincham and J.R. Ravetz * Animal biotechnology and ethics- edited by Alan Holland and Andrew Johnson * Genetic revolution and human rights- Justine Burley * Ethics in biotechnology www.gre.ac.uk/ws02/GM_Gmfoods/ethnic.html * A Mirror newspaper headline adapted from 'Ethics in biotechnology'. www.gre.ac.uk/~ws02/GM_foods/ethnic.hmtl * Andrew Parker BBC online- GM foods, what people think, 8th October 1999. www.bbc.co.uk * 'GM food protests' Thursday September 21st 2000 - The Guardian newspaper. * 'Health implications of genetically modified foods' - Professor Liam Donaldson and Sir Robert May, May 1999 * 'A new introduction to biology' AQA - Bill Indge, Martin Rowland, Margaret Baker. ...read more.

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