Explain how Dilemma comes out in Genetic Modification ……………..
Genetic modification is a process of using DNA technology or molecules combined in such a way to make a fresh group of genes. The DNA is then transmitted into an organism providing it with modified or upgraded genes. Besides making new organisms, there are treatments and cure on the foundation of genetic modification. For example, there is a man who was recently cured of AIDS when he got a transplant of bone marrow as he was suffering from leukemia. A time is coming where scientists will be in a position to tap cells from human beings and transplant them into new genetic material to make a whole new set of creature. Through genetic modification, new plants and animals are created to suit a particular application. For example, new crops have been bred that are more resistant to drought, diseases or pests. It involves numerous breeding cycles to do away with the harmful characteristics and develop on more favorable traits. Genetic modification is applied mainly for research reasons, such as to explore genes (Health and Life, 2010).
A specific area of consideration is the issue of ‘designer babies.’ When it is discovered that a baby will have genetic disorders at an early stage of development, selective abortions are permitted to prevent tragedies like painful death after a short period after birth. Through the genetic modifications, particular traits like sex or height of a child can be improved. The serious concern in this process is a case where fetuses will be extracted from the womb of the mother, genetic data injected and then replanted into the mother’s womb. This situation could get even worse as it may result into a community where only the wealthy can afford to better the health of their babies and make them look well turned-out (Health and life, 2010).
In agricultural sector, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia is one of the leading National science agencies which offer solutions in agriculture and business. The organization conducts researches in food production to secure the world food future in dealing with famine and hunger. The organization also deals in nutritional sciences to develop on the current nutritional supplements required by various populations in the world with special nutrients requirement. Moreover, the CSIRO has livestock industries to upgrade on the different breeds of animals which are more drought resistance and can adapt to diseases and parasite infection. All these processes are based on genetic modifications in their well established laboratories, all for reasons of life enhancement and adaptation to current problems in Australia and the world at large (Commonwealth of Australia, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, 2011). Other facilities are controlled by five crucial companies which conduct commercial research in the spot of GM crops. These companies include; Bayer CropScience, Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences.
The whole issue of genetic modification is proving to be harmful to life as most experiments are done recklessly when greedy scientists flood the world with experimental technologies (Peterson, 2008). Though they are regularly assuring the public, that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is safe and that they are for their own good, most governments continue to reject the ideas of GMOs. For instance, National Association for Genetic Security conducted researches to prove that GMOs are harmful to life in 2005 (Regnum, 2005)
Ethical Framework analysis of GMO
There are various benefits that may arise out of genetically modified organism which are well familiarized to the general public. These include; some crops tolerant to herbicides which help in reduction of herbicides application hence promotion of environmental conservation. Besides, some crops are insect and pest tolerant while others become resistance to bacteria, fungi and viruses which improves on the production level of the agricultural products. Some GMOs are enriched with micronutrient which help to boost the nutrient requirements of current population. These are the most ethically accepted principles as they help in solving very urgent human needs.
There have been serious arguments about genetically modified crops in the sense that it interferes with the natural order of creatures. There are opinions that are widespread, on violations of genetic modification which perpetuates corrupting with the nature. Such opinions were emphasized in the case of Citizens of UK with the incidents of BSE in cattle, where the BSE agent was multiplied to cattle in meat and bone meal making many people have the impression that the infection would not have come up had the cattle not been given meat. Some form of genetic modification crop breeding that would be regarded as unnatural is the injection of non-plant material like use of bacteria gene from Salmon into strawberries (Engdahl, 2007). The order of nature must be respected due to predictability of biological and ecological systems hence providing few risks to the human beings.
The blending of genetic components, across a variety of species takes place in nature with absence of human intrusion compared to blending of genetic components from animals and human beings to create viruses. There is possible impact especially in cross pollination of GM free crops in their natural habitat related to safety. For instance, introduction of untoward which impacts on the environment as a result of plants like Japanese Knotweed or rhododendron in Spain and Portugal. Arguments are posed regarding GMOs, supposing that they are fast in growth and have the power. There is no argument on naturalness, but rather they tend to dwell on safety.
Genetic Modification and risk analysis
Though the crops are produced in a short time period, the crops are more problematical than beneficial. This quick introduction of a variety of traits may end up introducing poisonous effects that may prove to be hard to manage. For example rhododendrons or Knotweed in Japan have had serious effects to the environment in UK and every environment introduced. Despite introduction of precautionary or moderation principle, many experiments have continued to violate them. This is due to the costs related to the experiments which are unbearable for scientists (Weale, 2010).
What’s more, there is evidence that these products can cause high health risks as a result of their introduction. Though the effect may take time, the benefits related to quick solutions to the available problem are always overridden. For example, production of Golden rice with enhanced nutrient content. The evidence of risks involved have not been put into scrutiny as to the proposition of moral priority is urgent.
Justice and cohesion
There were serious arguments in European Union as to the topic of genetically modified crops in 2004, revisited by Nuffield Council on Bioethics, as claims were there was world wide opinion ignorance (Nuffield Council on Bioethics, (2004). In most developed nations various ways are devised to improve on the yields in agriculture as it is considered to be highly effective. This is a move that is not largely supported by the general public as most of them remain unconvinced about the technology. The subject evolves around solidarity and justice as there are restrictive policies at the EU level which affect even small scale farmers in developing countries.
Justice issues on the other hand, are posed as to the function of the industry in the manufacture and trading of genetically modified crops. The chief component in the public dispute about genetically modified crops is on the risks related with oligopolistic and monopolistic power of the technology. 2004 report indicated that there were five primary companies controlling most of the facilities required to conduct commercial research in the spot of GM crops. These companies include; Bayer CropScience, Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences. Therefore this poses doubts as to responsible application of administrative capacity and property rights to execute the biosafety measures.
It is not the function of ethical scrutiny to be the campaigner for a specific technology. As an alternative, such a scrutiny results into putting forward the procedure by which any specific expertise can be evaluated. Misleading notion of believing that an ethical evaluation will have a brake on improvement of technology, especially in incidents where the expertise is to solve a critical human necessitates.
Public health ethics Reflection
From the various reports and global news around the world I have found out that many individuals or huge private corporations have only one objective, in violation of the general ethics in public health, the greed for fame and money. Their motives may not be behind improving lives or solving certain problems, but it may all be for one reasons of being identified as having contributed to the immense study on nature and its modification. For instance, regarding the risks associated with MON863 maize, the German Government declined to bring out their discoveries (Organic Consumers Association, OCA, 2005). Instead the government criticized doctor Pusztai who conducted the experiments on the safety of GMOs. This implies some ethics in public health are never obeyed nor respected. Some hide it in the sense that they stipulate the safety standards to be as per certain measure for instance, when EU ministers for Agriculture made a decision to permit accidentally organic food contaminated with GMOs to be categorized as organic as long as its volume remain below 0.9% (Shield, 2007). According to my own opinion, this is away of hiding their technology so that it can be marketed for their own good.
On the other hand, I feel the whole issue of public health ethics in relation to the subject of GMO, its all about, for the public benefit. There are different world wide problems which need to be addressed in order to save lives. Some of them include; famine and hunger, environmental degradation, infant mortality, life enhancement and general poverty reduction through world food programs. However, appropriate precautions must be taken to avoid violation of nature, or creation of a different public health menace to the population. The overriding principle should be based on the benefit of human kind and nature and not personal establishment and benefit.
Albert Weale, 2010, Ethical arguments relevant to the use of genetically modified Crops, New
Biotechnology article, volume 27 No. 5, Elsevier
Barbara H. Peterson, (2008), Genetically Modified Organisms – A Dangerous Experiment,
Natural news network
Commonwealth of Australia, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, 2011
Engdahl, F.W. (2007), Seeds of Destruction, Global Research.
Health and Life, 2010, Ethical Issues in Health & Medicine, Health and life article on 21st
Nuffield Council on Bioethics, (2004) the Use of Genetically Modified Crops in Developing
Countries, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, accessed 21st September 2011 http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org
Organic Consumers Association (OCA), (2005), Monsanto’s GE Corn Experiments on Rats
Continue to Generate Global Controversy (http://www.organicconsumers.org/mon…)
Regnum, (2005), genetically modified soy affects posterity: Results of Russian scientists’ studies.
Retrieved from (http://www.regnum.ru/english/526651…)
Shield, P. (2007), GMOs Threaten Organic Standards. Organic Consumers Association (OCA),
Order with us now