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Why genetic engineering should not be encouraged

  1. No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market. Such reproductive applications could be banned.
  2. The assessment process includes evaluation of the characteristics of the GMO and its effect and stability in the environment, combined with ecological characteristics of the environment in which the introduction will take place.
  3. Concerns about gene-editing technology being used to create designer babies neglects that the biological lottery - or nature - has no mind to fairness.
  4. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of gene transfer technology that does not involve antibiotic resistance genes is encouraged.
  5. Generally consumers consider that conventional foods that have an established record of safe consumption over the history are safe.

Messenger Scientists from around the world are meeting in Washington this week to debate how best to proceed with research into gene-editing technology. Gene editing is a new precise form of genetic engineering. It uses enzymes from bacteria to locate genes within DNA and delete or replace them. In early 2015, Chinese scientists used it to modify human embryos as a first step towards preventing the genetic transmission of a blood disease.

Many people, including scientists, are worried about creating genetically modified humans. Indeed, such research is a moral imperative for five reasons.

Curing genetic diseases Gene editing could be used to cure genetic diseases such cystic fibrosis or thalassaemia the blood disease that the Chinese researchers were working to eliminate. At present, there are no cures for such diseases. Detractors say selection of healthy embryos or fetuses via genetic testing is preferable.

But such genetic tests require abortion or embryo destruction, which is also objectionable to some people.

  • Stopping the genetic lottery The fourth reason for supporting gene-editing research on human embryos is the flip side of the designer baby objection;
  • Many people, including scientists, are worried about creating genetically modified humans.

Gene-edited embryonic stem cell lines that cause or protect against disease could help us understand the origins of disease. It merely brings a different person, who is free from disease, into existence.

2. Dealing with complex diseases

Future people would be grateful if their disease is cured, rather than being replaced by a different healthier or non-disabled person. Delaying or stopping ageing Each day, thousands of people die from age-related causes. Cardiovascular disease strongly age-related is emerging as the biggest cause of death in the developing world. Ageing kills 30 million every year.

  • The way governments have regulated GM foods varies;
  • The way governments have regulated GM foods varies;
  • The safety assessment of GM foods generally focuses on:

That makes it the most under-researched cause of death and suffering relative to its significance. Indeed, age-related diseases, such as heart disease or cancer, are really the symptoms of an underlying disease: Gene editing could delay or arrest ageing; this has already been achieved in mice.

Gene editing might offer the prospect of humans living twice as long, or perhaps even hundreds of years, without loss of memory, frailty or impotence. Age-related diseases, such as heart disease or cancer, are really the symptoms of an underlying disease: Stopping the genetic lottery The fourth reason for supporting gene-editing research on human embryos is the flip side of the designer baby objection.

What this concern neglects is that the biological lottery — i. Some are born gifted and talented, others with short painful lives or severe disabilities. While we may worry about the creation of a genetic masterclass, we should also be concerned about those who draw the short genetic straw.

Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods

Diet, education, special services and other social interventions are used to correct natural inequality. Gene editing could be used as a part of public health care for egalitarian reasons: Other edited stem cells could help treatment - imagine blood cells that kill and replace leukemic cells. Concerns about gene-editing technology being used to create designer babies neglects that the biological lottery - or nature - has no mind to fairness.

And that would reduce, rather than increase, inequality. The moral imperative There are valid concerns about applying gene editing to create live born babies. Such reproductive applications could be banned.

But the technology could be used for therapeutic research: And any constraints we place on it must keep this in mind. Laws to prevent reproductive gene editing may be justified on the basis of safety concerns but a ban on therapeutic gene editing cannot.

  1. Countries which have legislation in place focus primarily on assessment of risks for consumer health.
  2. Indeed, such research is a moral imperative for five reasons.
  3. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit in terms of durability or nutritional value or both.
  4. Countries which have legislation in place focus primarily on assessment of risks for consumer health. Many people, including scientists, are worried about creating genetically modified humans.
  5. Indeed, age-related diseases, such as heart disease or cancer, are really the symptoms of an underlying disease.

To ban it would be to ignore a great deal of good that can be done for a great many people, including some of the most vulnerable.