Genetically Modified Food and Cloning
I have chosen this problem because I am extremely interested in biology, ecology and the history of mankind. The problem of genetic modification and cloning is very important at the present time. The theme of genetically modified food is actual as every year it takes the greater place in our diet. Many scientists declare danger of the use of genetically modified food stuffs to health. They warn that consumption of similar products is capable to lead to unpredictable consequences, including mutations. One of big problems of a condition in that area is that genetic engineering is being moved by extreme commercial interests. The biotechnological companies aspire to patent and deduce on the market all new products and new genetically modified organisms (plants and animals), not caring about what collateral consequences genetic changes can have.
To please commercial interests of some huge companies any precaution is rejected: in fact being guided by only scientific approach, it would be necessary to test some generations of plants to be convinced of their safety. It has not been made in a case with modified plants as process of testing can borrow millennia. In my work I will try to describe the positive and negative features of genetic engineering, having resulted possible reasons and examples. In fact now there is a set of disputes and discussions so even the urgency of this theme is proved by a simple example - quantity of existing films and serials about this problem.
Genetically modified products can be toxic and dangerous for people. In 1989 the modification of L-Tryptophan, the food additive, caused death of 37 Americans and made invalids 5000 persons because of causing sufferings and potentially fatal illness of blood. Only after that event the product has been withdrawn from the use. According to special explorations, genetically modified L-Tryptophan was equivalent to previous substances which were made with the help of bacteria of natural type. However it did not correspond to these preparations on parameters of safety. If other tests had been carried out, for example, the test for assimilation by animals and people, the fact that this product was not safe would have become obvious. But such tests had not been carried out.
People have different points of view about whether the genetic modification of food is a good thing – in fact it is quite a controversial topic. Those involved in the biotechnology business insist it is safe and that genetic modification can increase yields, reduce waste and improve the flavour and keeping qualities of products. For example, soft fruits can be made firmer to prevent spoilage during transportation. People in favour of genetic modification also say that better use can be made of agricultural land as crops can potentially be modified to grow in hostile conditions, such as those of a drought; this will help in feeding the world. The later is a vital issue. The same goes for improving the nutritional value of foods. More than 800 million people still go hungry, and 82 countries (half of them in Africa) neither grow enough food, nor can afford to import it. In India alone, 85% of children under five live below the normal, acceptable state of nutrition.
It is well known that the fear of new and unknown things is a peculiar feature of people. People have already forgotten that a few dozens of years ago the world was shocked by the discussion about an opportunity of cloning of human beings. This opportunity appeared after the successful cloning of frogs. …
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