What Are The Pros And Cons Of Genetic Modification

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Genetic modification has risen to the public eye as a highly controversial issue over the past few decades. Starting with the FLAVR SAVR tomato in 1994, we can now genetically alter any organism, including ourselves. We can, and have, manipulated crops to resist insects or herbicides and animals to glow in the dark, grow faster, change their color, or even make spider silk. However, out of the limitless applications of genetic modification, three in particular stand out as relevant to our everyday lives: genetically modified foods, gene therapy, and designer babies. Each of these has its root in the same basic technology, but comes with a unique set of pros and cons. As complicated as it may be, we should know the ins and outs of each type of genetic engineering since they could become, and, in some cases, have become a large part of our lives. Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are easily the most well-researched and well-documented form of genetic manipulation. During the genetic modification process, DNA is manually inserted into an organism with the purpose of altering a trait. First, we extract DNA from an organism with the desired trait…show more content…
Additionally, it is more likely that a gene ends up in the wrong type of cell or in the wrong spot within a cell, causing illnesses such as cancer (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017). Ethical concerns with gene therapy are similarly problematic, such as determining who receives treatment, when, and how. The high cost of developing these products combined with the small market for them means that many companies are uninterested in gene therapy. As a result, the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved a total of sixteen gene therapy products (2018). Be that as it may, gene therapy has been largely effective in its limited run as a treatment for genetic

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