Genetic engineering and its dangers (Essay)

Genetic Engineering and its Dangers
Genetic Engineering and its Dangers
Genetic engineering (GE) is defined as the process of designing and altering genes to alter
the DNA via laboratory based technologies for enhancing certain characteristics, such as industrial
or agricultural production, disease resistance, etc. (
GE has been providing a number of commercial products and benefits to the mankind. But
there is no technology exists without any risk. A common man’s mentality has accepted the
vaccines and medicines developed from GE. On the other hand, it is opined that geneticallymodified (GM) food products are not safe, and are cosidered the cause of various allergic reactions,
toxicity, decrease in animal welfare, and uncontrollable harmful consequences in case of any
accidental release in the environment. It is agreed that none of the food is 100% safe. Many natural
food items contain proteins that may produce allergic reactions in humans. Also, some vegetables
and fruits produce trace amount of natural toxins, i.e., potato and tomato produce glycolakaloids
when consumed in relatively large quantities (Glick, B. R., 2010).
Historically, in 1970s, some people including biological scientists expressed the concerns
about the hazards of manipulation of genes. For instance, DNA of SV40 ( mammalian virus, known
to cause cancer in monkeys) was inserted into E.coli and resulted the development of new variant
of pathogenic organism, against which human immune system wass unable to produce defense
(Griffiths, A. J. F., 1976). Moreover in 1990, the Journal of the American Medical Association
reported that Showa Denko’s genetically modified bacteria produced a lethal L-tryptophan amino
acid that killed and disabled the people and caused eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (Smith, 2005).
It is not said that the scientists should cease the development of new GM products and GE
technologies but they must follow strict FDA guidelines and regulations to gain the trust of public.
Genetic Engineering and its Dangers
Griffiths, A. J. F, Miller, J. H., Suzuki, D. T., Lewontin, R. C., and Gelbart, W. M. (1976) “An
introduction genetic analysis” (5th ed.).
Glick, B. R., Pasternak, J. J., and Patten, C. L. (2010). “Molecular Biotechnology, Principles and
applications of recombinant DNA” (4rth ed.).
Smith, Jeffrey, M. (2005, August). “Scrambling and Gambling with the Genome.” Say No To

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