• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

There have been major technical developments in genetically modified plants. Identify and briefly comment on the ethical, social and/or environmental issues associated with the advances.

Extracts from this document...


There have been major technical developments in genetically modified plants. Identify and briefly comment on the ethical, social and/or environmental issues associated with the advances. Technology is about how society uses science. The study of technology developments belongs to the social science, and the social sciences insist on the adaptation of a critical attitude to technical developments. Forcing this on ones attention starts with the assertion that technical factors do not determine how the advances of science are used. Social factors shape both the design and implementation of technology developments. The new technologies usually called 'genetic engineering' or 'genetic modification' (GM) promise to revolutionise medicine and agriculture. An optimistic view is that GM plants will make a great, possibly indispensable, contribution to reducing mass hunger. Yet the development of GM crops has recently caused widespread unease around Europe. The unease comes in varying degrees of intensity. It is also based on a wide range of ethical beliefs. Humans have been modifying plants for thousands of years. Selective breeding and any other techniques have evolved into powerful tools for developing innumerable varieties of cultivated plants. ...read more.


A consumer who thought GM food unsafe would be unwise but not wicked to eat it. The consumption of GM food would be ethically problematic, but in an indirect fashion, if its production did harm, violated rights, or caused injustice. One major issue has been avoided in the evaluation of GM, namely the ethical status of the natural world itself. GM crops do not raise questions about the rights of plants. They do, however, provoke a reaction that is difficult to place within arguments about welfare, rights and justice. Entities that possess rights usually, although not always, possess the ability to waive their rights and to make choices about how they exercise them. Plants cannot pass that test. At another level, rights are often thought to protect the vital interests of creatures that cannot make choices for themselves: babies and unconscious people have rights even when they cannot make choices. It is a stretch of the imagination to think that plants have vital interests, as distinct from human beings having vital interests in what happens to plants. ...read more.


This would result in less food for birds and other animals further up the food chain. Secondly, a high level of illing would exert strong selection pressure on any resistant insects, so that the pest resistance might quickly become ineffective. This might force farmers to go back to spraying. Thirdly, in built pest resistance might affect non-target species, including susceptible beneficial insects that feed on pest species. The way that the costs and benefits of agricultural technologies fall on the citizens of well-off and poor societies respectively raises questions of justice, as well as difficult issues of how policy makers can steer technological change so that it does good to those who most need it. A considerable amount has been said and written already about both the potential benefits and risks to the environment of GM plants, but we are only beginning to accumulate the data that will enable us to evaluate precisely the pros and cons of these issues. If further research indicates that some particular applications of GM technology pose such risks to the environment that they should not go into commercial production, they should be withdrawn. BSc Computing CF102 Assignment 1 - Ethics Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Variation and Inheritance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Variation and Inheritance essays

  1. Genetics Research

    When the FMR1 gene is turned off, FMRP is not produced. It is the lack of FMRP that causes the cognitive features and connective tissue findings of fragile X syndrome. Lifelong monitoring of health status, including mental health, for all patients diagnosed with fragile X syndrome is suggested.

  2. Food Policy at a Crossroads, A World of Plenty or a World of Famine ...

    organic farming methods, costs are expected to drop and lead to lower consumer prices. This will inevitably fuel better, more efficient and standardized organic farming methods further lowering costs and consumer prices. The Problem While the majority of the developed world enjoys a fair abundance of foods and relatively no

  1. Genetic Modification

    There have been many bold claims about GM foods, such as: > Look better > Require less intensive farming methods > Need less pesticide use > Have longer shelf lives than conventional crops. > To protect certain crops from insect damage, every year insects cause over $7billion of damage to corn.

  2. Cloning Human Beings Is Not Ethical.

    Many experts worldwide are very skeptical, because Clonaid would not allow them to take DNA samples. Regardless of whether any of these babies were actually born as claimed, we as American citizens should use this unsettling report constructively by speeding up our personal evaluation of human cloning.

  1. Religion and Medical Ethics.

    This is not right as it is murder. Masturbation by the male is a part of 'Artificial Insemination' and 'Surrogacy'; this is regarded as a sin. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that, "These techniques infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him".

  2. General Motors Social Responsibility Strategy.

    GM cannot just make a car that could have a half chance of exploding if it is not looked after. The business has to make sure that the car is safe to drive on the road and it is not a potential death trap.

  1. Analysis of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species

    This is not possible, however, with reference to vertebrates for even the farthest of our collateral brothers have fully functional eyes. Instead Darwin delved into the realm of the Articulata. In the Articulata Darwin found an optic nerve covered with pigment and little more.

  2. Selective Breeding

    the optimum conditions for best growth as you are able to get close and give them the needs they need. * We can?t breed one sheep with all the needs as there are clashing alleles that override each other that give desired characteristics, so they are specific so they can be breed for one use only.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work