Can Genetic Modification Benefit Humanity? Essays

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Throughout the course of human history, new technological advancements have always created opposing views, and conflict between the different groups that hold them. Today, one of the greatest technological controversies is over the morals and practicality of genetically modifying crops and animals. Reasons for doing so vary from making them more nutritious to making plants more bountiful to allowing organisms to benefit humans in ways never before possible. Genetic engineering is a process in which genes within the DNA of one organism are removed and placed into the DNA of another, a “…reshuffling of genes…from one species to another” (Steinbrecher qtd. in Epstein). However, uncertainty about the practice has resulted in several groups who argue for its future. Some believe that genetic engineering should be encouraged to its greatest potential, others argue that the cons of genetic engineering greatly outweigh any benefits and feel it should be entirely banned, while a final group feels genetic engineering should be continued but only under much more strict moderation and regulation.
One group of the debaters believe that genetic modification, once properly researched and investigated, contains enormous potential for benefiting humanity. A portion of people who support genetic modification of plants and crops do so because they realize the benefits they can provide for society, especially for those in developing countries. Two scientists, Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer are responsible for the creation of “golden rice”, a type of genetically modified rice to create large amounts of vitamin A, much greater quantities than could ever be found in nature. The hopes of the two men were to help alleviate malnutrition in third world co...

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...eys were conducted in several countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, in which participants were asked whether they desired their country to mandate foods containing genetically modified components be labeled as so. Well over half the participants in the United States agreed labeling should be mandatory, more so than in the United Kingdom. Despite the United States having a greater percentage of the population saying they would like labeled foods than in the United Kingdom, the UK forces labeling while the US does not (Zepeda). People who campaign for mandatory labeling wonder why the United States does not do so, despite other countries doing so with less concern from the public. These proponents feel that using studies showing the public opinion would provide sufficient encouragement to the government to consider the issue more thoroughly.

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