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Discursive Essay on Biosafety and Bioethics Issues in Biotechnology

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This essay will attempt to discuss in detail the definitions of biosafety and bioethics, the different aspects surrounding biosafety and bioethics, as well as prominent biosafety and bioethics issues with regard to biotechnology and how they can be solved. Furthermore, how risk assessment plays a role in biosafety will be discussed, as well as certain suggestions to increase the level of biosafety. Laboratory biosafety will also be discussed briefly. Ways in which ethical issues regarding biotechnology can be addressed will also be discussed, as well as the relationship between biosafety and bio risk. Lastly, future prospects of biotechnology in society will also be elaborated upon.

Biotechnology has the capacity to unravel up-and-coming issues of the world’s expanding population. Be that as it may, there is regular hesitance amongst the public to acknowledge and bolster biotechnological items in fields of medication, industry, or agribusiness. There are numerous safety and ethical issues raised for human cloning and genetically modified crops. Raising transgenic plants and animals has fuelled ethical concerns, and researchers have confronted a substantial amount of resistance where genetically modified crop plants or regenerative cloning investigations of humans are included. Hence, biosafety and bioethics are persistently being extended to combine the method of reasoning of ever-increasing scientific information in biotechnology that is regularly in strife with the long-standing social and ethical esteem framework of our society. There is a further decrease in public support, most likely due to media coverage and the obvious ongoing debates on genetically modified crops regarding fear of their long-term impacts and obscure dangers as well as environmental security issues. Discussions from nongovernment organizations, researchers, and media have resulted in a negative effect on genetically modified crops. For example, GM crop utilization has been questionable with concerns being communicated on Flavr Savr tomato and numerous other products. (Varsha Gupta, 2016)

Conceivable outcomes of genetic therapy for certain human illnesses, somatic and germ cells, achieving indistinguishable hereditary copies of the organism, and other related bearings showed up in recent years. These forms of genetic intercession within the nature of the organism now require the assessment and dialog of their political, socio-economic, legal, ethical, and moral results. This is because choices created amid dialogs influence the direction and pace of the research. As a result, there is a problem in coming to an arrangement of a satisfactory public response to the possibility and need for the utilization of this genetic intervention. It is apparent that biotechnologies have colossal potential and openings to impact individuals and society as a whole. However, these points of view are conflicting. Noticing their scientific and economic centrality, it is additionally essential to bear in mind their potential threat to mankind and humanity, specifically, the dangers that will emerge with the advancement of infiltration of the human intellect into the normal powers of nature. (Alyeksyenko Iryna, 2019)

Biosafety issues can be defined as such. It alludes to control standards, innovations, and practices that are executed to avoid inadvertent introduction to pathogens and poisons or their coincidental discharge into the environment. Biosafety is not an individual necessity but also a fundamental collective to guarantee biological safety for a clean and secure environment. In recent decades, biotechnology investigations have brought about the development and release of a few genetically modified organisms for commercial employment. Releasing these GMOs into the environment may have direct or indirect effects on the environment that are inclusive of gene flow as well as gene transfer to wild relatives, trait effects on non-target species, insect resistance, and other unintended effects. One of the foremost important natural benefits of genetically modified crops is the exceptional decrease in pesticide utilization in agribusiness. In spite of their potential, there is a large number of concerns around the effect of genetically modified crops on the environment. (Kumar, 2015)

Bioethics can be defined as such. Fundamental categories of ethical or moral concerns with respect to advanced biotechnology fall into two classes which are intrinsic bioethics and extrinsic bioethics. Extrinsic protest alludes to the concerns with respect to the application of technologies such as the conceivable dangers of distinctive application of biotechnology, consumer right,s and patenting issues. All these issues ought to be addressed as they have long-term effects and results on the safety of human beings, the environment, and society as a whole. Intrinsic complaints affirmed that the methods of cutting-edge biotechnology are questionable in themselves. This conviction is related to the unnaturalness claim, which is described as changing nature and playing ‘God’. People’s convictions around nature play a part in their assessment of the items of biotechnology. They evaluate values and ideologies of what is ethically right or wrong to do with regard to the natural world. The contention is as follows: ‘Nature and all that’s normal is valuable and great in itself; all shapes of biotechnology are unnatural in that they go against and are a result of meddling with nature, especially within the crossing of normal species boundaries.’ In a few cases, the common ethical concerns incorporate a religious aspect when they are accompanied by a basic set of devout beliefs and standards concerning the connections between God, humankind, and nature. (Amin, 2009)

Biosafety issues can be elaborated as such. There are a few specialized issues of releasing genetically modified organisms into the environment for commercial employment, these include the security of the laboratory workers, customers, and the environment as an entirety the most prominent issue. When referring to scientific reports, containment facilities within research facilities across the Asian continent proved to be one of the most evident issues. Biosafety and biosecurity issues became much more stringent after 2001 when anthrax attacks within the USA raised the specter of bioterrorism using pathogens that were prepared in the laboratory. Shockingly, rigid biosafety and biosecurity rules are still unreasonable in numerous nations, where scientists often have to be compelled to handle irresistible agents such as bacillus anthracis and plague to ensure public well-being but need to obtain the correct framework. It is evident presently that cutting-edge biotechnology guarantees to upgrade the quality of human life, in the event that it is utilized wisely. On the other hand, on the off chance that it is used carelessly and haphazardly, it could have negative effects as well. Biosafety is a necessary requirement, as bioterrorism is another associated concern developing quickly and ought to be taken care of within the interest of economic research and advancement as well as for a healthy and safe environment. (Kumar, 2015)

Bioethical issues can be elaborated as such. Extrinsic concerns include patenting, environmental concerns, and scientific uncertainties. Whereas intrinsic concerns include religion, the rights theory, and the theories of justice. A few of the issues in patenting genetically modified organisms is that licensing which permits big corporations to have the restraining infrastructure of genetically altered plants and animals violates the sacredness of life. Numerous faultfinders moreover contradict the fact that seeds are presently respected as propriety items, additionally with the ‘terminator gene’ innovation which renders the seeds sterile. Agriculturists are forced to purchase unused seeds annually from multinational companies instead of sowing seeds from past years’ harvests. Environmental concerns can be explained as such. Genetically modified organisms are ‘novel’ items that can diminish or alter nature’s biodiversity or even upset the balance of nature in unintentional ways. For example, environmentalists are concerned about the plausibility of GM crops having herbicide or bug spray resistance to cross-pollinate with wild or related species, and inadvertently making it difficult to remove wild species. There is moreover concern about the plausibility of horizontal gene transfer of transgenic DNA and the potential to make modern infections and bacteria that cause illnesses. Lastly, scientific uncertainties can be explained as such. Researchers do not concur and scientists cannot come to a common consensus about the conceivable consequences of genetic engineering to biological systems, health, and the environment, whereas several others have recognized the conceivable dangers of genetically modified organisms to human well-being and the environment. A few investigators have also recognized the insufficiencies of scientific risk assessment as a method of predicting and evaluating the likely consequences of modern innovations and technologies. (Amin, 2009)

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Where intrinsic concerns are considered, religion can be explained as such. The spiritual division alludes to religion or the conviction of a person or people. The acknowledgment and victory of biotechnology will be based on the ideological beliefs and the social values embraced by individual humans who, in turn, will consequentially impact societal convictions and values. There are standards or rules on how we should live and what is the right decision to make in most religions. The rights theory can be explained as such. The premise of this hypothesis is this; continuously act so that you simply treat human beings as autonomous people, and not as insignificant means. It refers to the right of a person to form choices about their life on their own, and not to be subjected to the inconvenience of others. Lastly, the theories of justice can be explained as such. Theories of justice such as libertarian, communitarian, utilitarian, or egalitarian are explained in different ways with the address of the premise on which to distribute resources. This is done on the premise of contribution, need, merit, effort, or the free market. One of the most compelling philosophers of the twentieth century is John Rawls, who created his hypothesis of justice by utilizing both utilitarian and liberty guidelines. (Amin, 2009)

Where biosafety issues are concerned, risk assessments can be carried out. Risk assessments can be characterized as the estimation of the hazard of an undesirable event. That is how regularly can the risk occurs and how serious can the risk be. Risk assessment gives an explanatory system for achieving and deciphering exploratory information, the most objective being to provide an estimation of the risk postured by a potentially harmful preparation or action. The evaluation of the risk can be recognized from the risk assessment of the chemical in question, with the foremost striking characteristics of organisms such as development and multiplication, gene exchange, and versatility. There are certain suggestions to better improve the understanding of biosafety and its concepts around the world. For instance, conferences, seminars, and workshops might give extra data for researchers and analysts who work with particular organisms. Regional and universal conferences are regularly held in numerous regions of the world where current research on bioethics and biosafety are displayed and examined. Moreover, in some countries research ventures in expansive scales have been organized to investigate the rate of dispersion of animal, plant, and microbial species in diverse regions. These types of exercises can be used as a criterion for superior organization and the development of a genetic bank. This is done so that novel species can be observed in detail with regard to issues in biosafety. (Mashreghi, 2007)

Furthermore, ethical issues regarding biotechnology can be resolved in a few ways. Ethically legitimate conclusions depend on two sorts of judgments, these include factual judgment which is based on logical evidence and hypotheses, and moral judgment which is based on the most prominent ethical reasoning theories. Decisions on what is the right thing to do will be made after weighing the benefits of a technology like genetic design with its potential pitfalls and harms. Be that as it may, moral decisions concerning genetic alteration has demonstrated to be exceptionally challenging since it brings together numerous moral perspectives of our life that incorporate individual, commerce, environmental, political, medical, animal, and logical morals other than religion-based morals and ethics. A strategy for tending to moral issues related to modern biotechnology with a few modifications is reasonable for utilization in Malaysia. It is recommended to work systematically through a series of questions. These are depicting briefly the hurt or potential hurt, who are the stakeholders, that is, all of the people and not people (animals, biological systems, other nonhuman entities) who may be hurt, the degree to which these partners will be harmed, and the dissemination of harms, which means are those at the chance of being hurt the same or distinctive from those who may be at an advantage? An innovation is satisfactory in the event that it makes a worthy set of consequences for each sector of society. So, with the intention of determining worthy risk-benefit trade-offs, it may be valuable to inquire about or study a properly chosen sample of citizens to consider their demeanor and acknowledgment towards these trade-offs. For example, Malaysian partners within the Klang Valley were more supportive of genetically modified palm oil, which is adjusted to diminish its saturated fat and genetically modified insulin compared to genetically modified soybean, which has resistance to the herbicide. In Islam, the examination of risk-benefit related to cutting-edge biotechnology is provided under the Maqasid Syariah rule. (Amin, 2009)

The relationship between biosafety and bio risk can be explained as such. Biosafety perspectives have become exceptionally vital in different conditions and require numerous safety measures in health-care frameworks such as clinics, diagnostic research facilities, animal care frameworks, biological research facilities, and many more. The safety measures, which can be taken to decrease or invalidate the hazard, are related to tests by persistently checking and recognizing potential risks, their risk evaluation, and preventive measures to dodge exposure that might result in contamination. Individual laborers ought to be suitably prepared and must understand the conditions like containment, which are conditions where infectious operators can be securely controlled, and understand that standard research facility practices can minimize exposure to pathogens. Risk is the probability of the event of an unfavorable occasion, in this way risk is the probability of the occurrence of serious contamination due to the introduction of pathogenic microorganisms or biohazards. Upon introduction, there may be mellow to extreme diseases, hypersensitivities, or other clinical issues related to the pathogen. The risk can be overseen by risk evaluation, compelling biosafety measures, and biocontainment. Biohazards may be the microbial infectious agents or other organic materials posturing a hazard for human well-being, parasites, infections, prions, or organically inferred poisons, allergens, venoms, or recombinant DNA that can unfavorable well-being influence human or animal health, well-being, and the environment. (Varsha Gupta, 2016)

Biosafety in the laboratory can be explained as such. National biosafety rules were implemented because of the endeavors of biomedical and microbiological scientists and communities. These included the acknowledgment of risks, evaluation of hazards, and suitable utilization of measures that include biocontainment to avoid risks. Advanced and secure research facility practices and the utilization of security supplies together with occupational wellbeing programs to decrease laboratory-induced contaminations whilst dealing with microorganisms was carried out. Preventive measures moreover require individual defensive gear like masks, eye protection (goggles), gloves, shoe covers, laboratory coats, and respiratory defensive measures for avoidance of exposure. The biosafety level also known as BSL demonstrates the constituents of safeguards of biocontainment for dealing with unsafe microbial pathogens. BSL-1 demonstrates the least security measures whereas BSL-4 demonstrates the highest conceivable security measures. Current biosafety and biocontainment practices and strategies are in place to decrease the exposure of research facility staff, agriculture, the public, and the environment to possibly dangerous biological agents. Biosafety levels are research facility designations, which are based on the degree of hazard. They are assigned as BSL1, BSL2, BSL3, and BSL4. These security levels guarantee distinctive levels of protection when working with harmful microbial strains. Biosafety laboratories are exceptionally modern and have an exceptionally great design element, building control, as well as secure work practices. (Varsha Gupta, 2016)

Biotechnology has the capability of impacting the society of the future in many ways. Different initiatives that were taken within the areas of atomic science, genetics, and recombinant DNA innovation are starting to appear in fruits, reinforcing the premise of research. Innovative progress has made life simpler. The issues experienced within the form of ethical predicament require suitable consideration keeping in mind the views and interests of the society. The ultimate goal ought to be to generate thorough information on all perspectives of present-day science and gather brilliance in creating a socially, financially, and ethically economical society. Biotechnology has had a huge effect on the human race. The innovation has potential to alter what people are, and what people are capable of accomplishing. People may evolve and aim to be “transhuman”. Transhumanism is the universal development that is focused on transforming people through the utilization of technology to increase brain function and improve physical potential, human intellect, as well as mental capabilities. Their objective is to amplify and extend the period of human life, upgrade brain function and its capabilities, delay maturing and aging, and make strides in physical conditions, thereby creating so-called superhumans. (Varsha Gupta, 2016)

In conclusion, this essay has attempted to discuss in detail the definitions of biosafety and bioethics, the different aspects surrounding biosafety and bioethics, as well as prominent biosafety and bioethics issues with regard to biotechnology and how they can be solved. Furthermore, how risk assessment plays a role in biosafety has been discussed, as well as certain suggestions to increase the level of biosafety. Laboratory biosafety has also been discussed briefly. Ways in which ethical issues regarding biotechnology can be addressed have been thoroughly discussed, as well as the relationship between biosafety and bio risk. Lastly, future prospects of biotechnology in society have been elaborated upon.


  1. Alyeksyenko Iryna, S. E. (2019). Biosafety and Bioethics Are the Ground of Modern Biotechnologies Development. International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering (IJRTE), 41-45.
  2. Amin, L. (2009). Ethical Issues, Ethical Principles, and Guidelines. Modern Biotechnology, 02-13.
  3. Kumar, S. (2015). Biosafety and Biosecurity Issues in Biotechnology Research. Biosafety.
  4. Mashreghi, M. (2007). Biosafety issues in biotechnology and engineering of microorganisms. IRANIAN JOURNAL of BIOTECHNOLOGY, 194-199.
  5. Varsha Gupta, M. S. (2016). Biosafety and Bioethics. Basic and Applied Aspects of Biotechnology.

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