Genetic engineering refers to a set of technologies being used to change the genetic makeup of the cells involving highly sophisticated manipulations of genetic material and other biologically important chemicals. It is relevant to society because of today’s advancing technology in the western world.
Medicine is a form of genetic engineering in which has been used to benefit life on earth. Genetic engineering is not only seen to have the POWER to provide, but also to eradicate numerous diseases from society such as cancer through the manipulation or removal from one’s body. Genetic engineering also provides further insight into natural sciences research and our environment. Another issue is genetic engineering in food, in which can be seen as both positive and negative. It benefits society through;
- Can be genetically engineered to protect plants and crops from pests
- Increased nutritional value in food
- Increased crops growth rate, quality and quantity
- Pharming- Pharming is, it is a action in which the farming of crops and food is used to process vaccines and medicines
Therefore it is particularly beneficial to farmers or people from the country in which rely on the growth of crops and plants for a living.
Although the incorporation in the food industry can be helpful, it can be perceived in a negative manner. This is seen through the production of food against their natural flow or cycle in which could create permanent genetic mutations. This can bring the occurrence of new diseases and allergies due to the substances we have formed and consumed, leaving the future unpredictable. Also, consumers should have the right to decide whether or not they would like to buy the product. However, in most case scenarios the products sold are not accurately labelled therefore leaving the buyer uncertain of what their purchase really is. This is where the term “eating in the dark” originated.
Ethical issues surrounding Genetic Engineering
The catholic position on the bio-ethical issue
- Genesis 1: 27
· “So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:38-39
· “But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.”
- Leviticus 19:19
· “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.”
These references portray the catholic view on genetic engineering as negative. They all teach us that every organism placed on this earth was made as God wished it to be as a seed of his own body, therefore it is to be kept the way in which it was intentionally made.