Ok, so this isn't a major project. So don't freak out! But your mission is to create a paragraph, stating why you are for or against Genetic Engineering. Below is a list of pro's and con's. Below your paragraph please put your top 3 reasons why you sided with for or against Genetic Engineering. Feel free to Submit your projects at the Help page. Just submit your paragraph as a help statement, and we will work it out from there. Fill out whatever you want, but when you make a comment, paste your paragraph there. Below your paragraph put your name and Project #1. Thanks!
Faster breeding. A possible benefit of transgenic crops or animals is that they can be bred for desirable traits very precisely and much faster than when traditional methods are used. The related disadvantage is that because the actual "breeding" in genetic engineering is carried out under laboratory or sterile conditions, the implications under field conditions may not be fully understood until a problem arises.
Nutrient levels. Certain transgenic crops (e.g., "golden rice" capable of synthesizing the precursor of Vitamin A) are capable of producing higher amounts of nutrients and vitamins, which could be have a great impact on solving nutrition problems in heavily populated and underdeveloped countries.
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Allergies. Eating certain transgenic foods has occasionally led to the development of allergies. A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1998 showed that people consuming transgenic soybean intended as animal feed developed certain allergic reactions. Transgenic crops marketed for human consumption have not been linked directly to causing widespread allergies.
Monarch butterfly mortality. Recent studies reported in Science and Oecologia journals suggested that pollen from the transgenic Bt com may be fatal to monarch butterflies, which feed on milkweed coated with com pollen. Scientists have confirmed the mortality of monarch butterflies exposed to Bt com pollen under both laboratory and field conditions. Proponents of the technology claim that under field conditions the concentration of pollen on milkweed may not reach levels that cause lethal effects. Scientists from Iowa State University are examining this more closely, and their findings should be published soon. A study published in Nature (1999) indicated that secretions from remains of Bt com adversely affected certain other soilborne nontarget insect species.
Gene flow. The flow of transgenes into other organisms through pollution (termed "genetic pollution") may pose unknown risks to the ecosystem. Once these genes are released, it is difficult to recall them. Proponents of the technology claim that this form of gene pollution is similar to introducing alien species into an ecosystem. The ecosystem is dynamic, and human interference caused it to change throughout history. Some organisms have become a nuisance although they were originally introduced as a biological control agent (e.g., Japanese ladybug).
Crop diversity. Because genetic engineering focuses on crops with certain highly desirable traits, genetic diversity within the crop could be diminished. This can make crops more susceptible to natural calamities such as disease outbreaks. Such problems also have been encountered with hybrids generated by traditional breeding techniques.