Biotechnology Position Paper
Genetically engineered and modified foods are not only one of the worlds prime concerns, but have recently developed into one of the most widely debated issues in all of North America. Arguments aside, the problem is going to be one that the world is going to have to feel the results of, whether prepared or not. Newly expanded research regarding biotechnology presents a willing audience with a whole new outlook on just how far scientific investigation and expansion can go. The accelerating rate, at which these new progressions are being made, is a potential threat to the health of the people who are deemed the so called guinea pigs. Although it is deemed by some that genetically modified foods that are approved are considered by the government to be safe as their traditional counterpart there are still many effects that serve consideration before being labeled as "safe". The outcome of these new manufactured goods is still unfamiliar to the consumer because the products are just too new and innovated at this point. Through the examination of the effects of engineered crops on agriculture, the experimentation and distribution concerns, and the scientific evaluation of increased toxicity levels and antibiotic immunities, one will unmistakably be able to see how genetically engineered and modified foods are not a trend that citizens should not buy into. The heightened and newfound interest in genetically engineered food should be looked upon with a watchful eye and should not be granted credibility until the consumer is sufficiently advised on the potential environmental effects that they can have on the land. There are still unknown mechanisms of genetic modification and breeding when pertaining to genetically modified crops. For one, scientists continually have to deal with unintended effects of random insertion of DNA. (Dewar, 2003) This can lead to any number of negative effects in the crop including, unbalanced levels of chemical, changes in enzymes, phenotypes and metabolites, and unappealing crops in appearance. Supporters of genetically engineered crops believe that this is a problem that can easily be overcome by better standardization, validation of measurements, and databases on natural variations but there still seam to be these various worries that keep the issue so strong. Some question the dependability of present-day genome databases and believe that there is not an adequate proofreading system, which leads to some of the problems at hand. (Isaac, 2001) While others suggest that there is not enough known about DNA and chromosome structures and functions and that is why there arte still so many questionable actions in the process. Pest and stress tolerance is problematic and disputed as well because with the development of such immunities to adapt to different environments, mutations can occur within the plan. Food quality is jeopardized through the modification of natural elements and centuries of reproducing as well. (McHughen, 2003) Suddenly there is more DNA crossing and gene splicing taking place, so much so that many foods are unable to produce the way they could before. Also there is a lack of nutrients in the foods, compared to the actual foods pre-genetically modified. The promotions being made by pre-GM scientific establishments must be looked upon closely, as their words defining "food quality" may be misleading. (McHughen, 2003) For example, such words as "vitality" and "wholesomeness" can be very confusing as they imply that the food is good in all senses of the word. The word "wholesomeness," implies that eh quality belongs to the whole organism and cannot be found by assessing the chemical composition. While "vitality" simply means the quality of being alive, and to be alive is to be full of life, and full of the constructive drive that sustains life. So in this sense, wholesomeness and vitality and closely related, have more of a positive connotation and seem to...
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