Free «Bioethics» Essay Sample

The growing trend in technology involving the modification of the genetic traits of plants and animals has become a public issue more than a scientific issue. Numerous studies confirm that unexpected movement of modified genetic traits is not only a credible concern, but in fact, it already has occurred. Selective breeding and transfer of specific generic traits could result in plants that no longer respond to herbicides and insect that are resistant to insecticide. If this happens, the natural balance of the environment is greatly affected and may require further damage control due to more problems resulting from selective breeding.

Another reason for going against the idea of selective breeding is because of its impact to genetic diversity. If the generic diversity of the global agricultural species is decreased, we can argue that the one plant specie can be affected by a new or more newly aggressive pathogen. The spread of corn blight across the US in 1970 is an example of potential consequences of lack of genetic diversity. Because all species of corn were closely related, even in the 1970’s, the crop sustained a huge loss from the blight. Of course, humans have already used technology such as selective breeding long before genetic engineering was available through selective breeding practices. This means that new technology makes selective breeding much more rapid and potentially more globally distributed. The more people who practices selective breeding without being able to completely study and prepare for the possible consequences can be a threat to the environment. There are people who believe that there are a lot of advantages for promoting elective breeding. Ideally, it will be best to conduct further studies first inside the laboratory before implementing it in an actual living space because the if in any case an unexpected problem happens as a result of selective breeding, it will be easier to do damage control if it is studied and conducted in a controlled space such as the clinic. There is a danger is progressing too fast for this could result to high expectations that could initiate distrust that would set the field back. More time spent to produce better science before launching into clinical trials might actually save time, money and species. The problem over how rapidly to push radical biotechnology into the clinic is typical to our bioethical concerns. We have technology that can relieve suffering should be moved forward. However, if wrongly or carelessly used, unprecedented consequences may be experienced in a global scale. Even though selective breeding is designed with the best intentions the outcome may be questionable. (Broom 1998).

The ethical issues surrounding selective breeding are not only confronted by farmers but it also affects all of us. To be able to find the limits and answers to the ethics behind selective breeding we should be able to understand the process involved as well as the practice of selective breeding. If we are able to understand the process of selective breeding further, we will be able to address the issues that are not simply based on mere assumptions and assertions instead focused on facts. This includes the continuous research to increase productivity. It is essential to strike a balance between animal integrity and animal welfare.


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