By and large, we accept the use of animals as objects and tools. Sixty-two percent of Americans surveyed in a Gallup poll, for example, deemed it morally acceptableto use animals for medical research, and despite the growth of the animal rights movement, there are many vegetarians. And what does a T-bone steak represent if not a reduction of an animal to parts, to its instrumental value? There are issues with farming, of course, especially the industrial-scale factory farming that is the norm today. But whatever our objection to the system itself, the truth is that most of us accept the idea that we can use an animal and body to nourish out own For most of us, then, the real ethical question surrounding [genetically engineered] pharm animals comes down to the genetic engineering itself. Is there something about editing DNA and remixing biological material that is just inherently wrong? …critics of biotechnology worry that breaching species barriers violates the rules of God or nature or both. These interspecies combinations can raise unfortunate existential questions, threatening our sense of uniqueness. If we can make our cells spring to life in a sheep or make a piece of our biological code work in a beady-eyed little rodent, what is it, exactly, that separates man from beast? While scientific progress on molecular biology has a great potential to increase our understanding of nature and provide new medical tools, it should not be used as justification to turn the environment into a giant genetic experiment by commercial interests. The biodiversity and environmental integrity of the world's food supply is too important to our survival to be put at risk. What's wrong with genetic engineering (GE)?
Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, thereby contaminating non 'GE' environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way. Their release is 'genetic pollution' and is a major threat because GMOs cannot be recalled once relased into the environment. Because of commercial interests, the public is being denied the right to know about GE ingredients in the food chain, and therefore losing the right to avoid them despite the presence of labelling laws in certain countries. Biological diversity must be protected and respected as the global heritage of humankind, and one of our world's fundamental keys to survival. Governments are attempting to address the threat of GE with international regulations such as the Biosafety Protocol. We believe:
GMOs should not be released into the environment since there is not an adequate scientific understanding of their impact on the environment and human health. We advocate immediate interim measures such as labelling of GE ingredients, and the segregation of genetically engineered crops and seeds from conventional ones. We also oppose all patents on plants, animals and humans, as well as patents on their genes. Life is not an industrial commodity. When we force life forms and our world's food supply to conform to human economic models rather than their natural ones, we do so at our own peril. Governments have taken different approaches to assess and manage the risks associated with the use of genetic engineering technology and the development and release of genetically modified organisms (GMO), including genetically modified crops and genetically modified fish. There are differences in the regulation of GMOs between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the USA and Europe. Regulation varies in a given country depending on the intended use of the products of the genetic engineering. For example, a crop not intended for food use is generally not reviewed by authorities responsible for food safety. One of the key issues...
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