The society in which we live is supported in different perspectives with excellent technology. When new technologies advance, always it produces opposing views and conflicts between the different groups that hold them. One of the biggest technical controversies is whether genetically modified organisms (GMO) which the plant, animals, insects or micro-organisms whose genetic make-up has been changed using modern laboratory techniques, should be allowed or not. Some people think that genetic modification should derive its greatest potential because it can reduce the cost of food across the world and the number of people who are affected by hunger in the world by enhancing a fast output rate of crops which have high resistance to diseases. Also, people can create the perfect person and new creatures as they wish for several reason such as for army and science through genetic modification. At the same time, other people think it is dangerous and unethical. While genetically modified organisms have several excellent intentions for saving and developing our life, it will create the monster which put the life of humans in danger; thus it should be allowed and people have to recognize and understand what genetic modification is and how it affects on organisms and environment.
Firstly, genetically modified organisms is a guessing experiment, so no one knows what will be happened until it is accomplished. It is different between cloning and genetic modification because while cloning creates existing or extinct creatures based on information, genetic modification creates new creatures from research results as experiments. From the past, the scientists never thought that doing a genetic modification on organisms will lead to the formation of new super creatures because even though scientist understand well about each gene and can expect what kind of creature will be created, it is just guess. It might be the creature that is much different than expected. Genetic modification is an elaborate process which allows the scientist to change species and those changes have the potential of impacting the world. According to the article “What is genetic modification?,” it explains “new genes might have been added or the function of genes already present might have been altered”(“What is genetic modification?”). It means new genes will contain sequences found in the same or different organisms or they may be synthetic. Genetically modified organisms can grow, reproduce and inherit their genes to their offspring, and it shows that scientists can manipulate gene as they wish.
Secondly, genetically modified organisms foods are unhealthy because genetically modified organisms alter the genes of an organism by inserting desirable traits to one organism to another. In the article “Are G.M.O Foods Safe?,” the author, Brody, talks about whether genetically modified foods has negative effects on people’s body, and he states “The fears of G.M.O.s are still theoretical, like the possibility that insertion of one or a few genes could have a negative impact on other desirable genes naturally present in the crop” (Brody). For example, fish that lives in ice water into spinach so that that spinach can grow in cold climate by having genes that can withstand the cold. These genetic transplantations from one unrelated organism to another have gotten some people worried. Some of the concerns and complaints that have been given are their fear of unwanted changes in nutritional content as well as the unwanted introduction of allergens and toxic effects on bodily organs. These concerns are reasoning as people have common beliefs that if even the insects do not eat the crop that has been genetically modified to be insect resistance, it must be dangerous for human consumption as well. In addition, according to the article “10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs,” the author, Smith Jefferey, gives exact numbers as the evidence that GMO is bad for human’s health “Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise” (Smith). It affirms that genetically modified foods bring people issues since 6% is a huge number. Also, it is ironic that it can increase the percentage of people with a chronic illness while it can decrease the number of people who are affected by hunger in the world. Therefore, it is clear that people should avoid buying and eating genetically modified foods.
Thirdly, genetic modification will not only impact the health of community members but also has negative effects on the environment, and it should be stopped. In the article “The contaminated risk of GM crops: Nationalism and the genetic modification debate,” the author explains that genetically modified crops are a disaster to the community since they are not grown in a normal way like traditional crops. According to the research from University of Virginia economist Federico Ciliberto, “widespread adoption of genetically modified crops has decreased the use of insecticides, but increased the use of weed-killing herbicides as weeds become more resistant” (Federico). As the use of herbicides continues to increase, it will harm amphibians, marine ecosystems, soil organisms, birds and insects, and it can reduce biodiversity and pollute water resources. For example, in fact, it has eliminated monarch butterfly habitat. Monarch butterfly populations have fallen by 50% in the United States. Round-up herbicides have been shown to cause amphibian birth defects, fetal death and endocrine disruption, and organ damage. For keeping and protecting the beautiful nature and species, people should stop creating genetically modified crops.
Some people agree with genetically modified human being because it can bring advantages and it would lead to the positive development of human beings. Genealogist Liam Callanan quoted that “we all carry, inside us, people who came before us” (Habermas 77). This means that when human embryos are modified, their characteristics developed from the embryos would carry the same features. The genetic modification of human beings has been an occurrence which has gone through several phases. Doctors have been able to come up with gene editing processes which have rooted out unwanted genes and enabled the modification of human embryos. This process has led to some of the first genetically modified humans who have brought about better processes of genealogy. Another consequence which has been as a result of the modification involves being able to prevent the modified humans from acquiring certain diseases. This process has successfully enabled the white blood cells to function in a proper and better way. In another instance, genetically modified humans now have the ability to prevent infections. The infections include viruses like the West Nile. This procedure has become successful in the sense that during the process of modification, snipping out the genes which lead to acquiring the virus enables an individual to become susceptible to the virus. Scientists have therefore successfully pioneered the process of deleting certain genes which may in one way or the other cause diseased in the human body. Another result of the process is that genes do not exist in a form of isolation. The process enhances the constant interaction of genes in the human body.
Fourthly, while genetically modified human being has several positions impact, there is also a negative consequence which is gene doping; it cannot be ignored. Those individuals with the desire for greater performance in sports may find themselves involved in this activity. Some scientists are found to be abusing the process of genealogy though enabling other humans to gain an advantage over others through gene doping. Individuals have been able to alter genes in order to come up with better athletes successfully. This process has undermined the development surrounding genetic modification of humans (Lanphier et al. 101). For instance, the invention of the “Schwarzenegger mice” during the 1990s was the main reason the practice of gene doping started coming up. The mice were genetically developed in the sense that they had increased muscles strength and growth. The reason for their development was mainly to study diseases involving muscle growth. The mice were later found to have problems with reproduction (Hockemeyer et al. 86). In the same line, it was discovered that the humans who were involved in the process of gene doping had issues with reproduction. This process of genetic engineering was therefore not worth carrying out. This is because it is said to have serious consequences for the health of human beings in society. The manipulation of genes for purposes of disease research is ethical. However, genetically modified humans are said to go through certain consequences which may be regarded as dangerous and unethical. The creation of designer babies is a process which may harbor potential tragedies. A safety concern may be for the process of human genealogy to be carried out through strict guidelines which may enable scientists to control against the abuse of the process in the society.
What if the scientists create monsters which will cause a threat to the human race, monsters which do not have humanity in them, then the life of people in the world will be in great danger. It is difficult to feel and imagine, but it can happen in the near future as people have seen in the fiction movies that are about generally modified organisms have special skills or change to the monster. In the movie, Splice which directed by Vincenzo Natal, there are two scientists who are a couple of Clive and Elsa. They ignore law and ethics, and they experiment to blend the DNA of human and animal in order to create a new species. The experiment is successful, a new living creature is born. Clive and Elsa give its new creature body name, Dren, and they keep it secret so that no one will know. She rapidly grows into a beautiful woman. However, her growth does not stop, and she transforms into a monster. This is a great example of what I said above, scientists who are Clive and Elsa never thought they will and they can create the monster until they did. At the end of the story, they decided to kill her who they raise as their child because they cannot control her anymore. Even though the main point and problem of this movie are that genetically modified creatures become the monster which hurt people and the society, actually there are other issues that scientists and citizens also turn into the monster. Scientists like Clive and Elsa are unethical, selfish, less responsible because they create and give life, but they will try to kill the creature when situations change to bad. It is sound murder, and people who support their experiments and genetic modification is also the part of a murderer.
To sum up, genetic modification will bring about negative consequences, the monster, to the society, animals, human beings, and the environment while it can lead to the formation of new creatures some of which will save the world. Usually, no one can know what will be created through genetic modification before its experiment is completed, but it is too late if something bad happens and it is irretrievable. For example, as the movie what if the monster who do not have self-control is created from genetic modification and attack the city or what if water resources get polluted through genetically modified crops? It can happen anytime since biotechnology included genetic modification is developing every day, and someday it might change you to the monster. Thus, first of all, people need to have knowledge of genetic modification, know how it affects to our lives, and see the negative side of it, not only positive side because sometimes it brings more consequences and harm than profits. In addition, people have to have opinions to scientists since through genetic modification they can create any creature they wish.
- Brody, Jane E. “Are G.M.O Foods Safe?” The New York Times. 23 April. 2018. Web. 17 Feb. 2019
- Habermas, Jürgen. The future of human nature. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.
- Hockemeyer, Dirk, et al. 'Genetic engineering of human pluripotent cells using TALE nucleases.' Nature Biotechnology 29.8 (2011): 731.
- Hughes, Emma. “The contaminated risk of GM crops: Nationalism and the genetic modification. debate” Journal of Public Affairs. 5.3/4 (2005): 251-262. EBSCOhost. Web. 15 Feb. 2019.
- Lanphier, Edward, et al. 'Don’t edit the human germline.' Nature News 519.7544 (2015): 410.
- Smith, Jefferey. “10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs” Institution for Responsible Technology N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2019.
- Splice. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, performances by Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, and Delphine Chaneac. Warner Brothers, 2009. DVD.
- “LARGEST-EVER STUDY REVEALS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS” University of Virginia. 14 September, 2016 Web. 17 Feb 2019
- “What is genetic modification?” Genetic modification: The New Zealand approach. The ministry for the Environment Manata Mo Te Taiao. Jun 2004. Web. 15 Feb. 2019.