Why Biotechnology Is Bad

Why Biotechnology Is Bad
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KEY TOPICS

  • Biotechnology has indeed done a lot of good for the world, but it also has disadvantages, and there are some concerns about its potential negative impacts.(More…)
  • The estimation that more than two trillion transgenic plants have been grown in 1999 and 2000 alone, with no overt documented adverse food reactions being reported, indicates that genetic modification through biotechnology will not impose immediate significant risks as food allergen sources beyond that of our daily dietary intake of foods from crop plants.(More…)
  • In some surveys, consumers are asked whether they think the risks outweigh the benefits (or vice versa), whether they support the use of biotechnology to produce food, or whether they think the use of biotechnology in food production will increase the quality of their lives.(More…)
  • Biotechnology has tremendous potential for increasing food production and improving food processing although the real impact will only be felt after the year 2000 and it will differ from country to country.(More…)
  • New products and techniques resulting from the application of biotechnology, like products of all science, technology, and engineering, need to be evaluated for their risks and benefits, including social implications, before they are deployed.(More…)

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Biotechnology has indeed done a lot of good for the world, but it also has disadvantages, and there are some concerns about its potential negative impacts. [1] While biotechnology provides an expansive advantage for humans and the environment, there are also a number of potential disadvantages to consider. [1] Biotechnology is the controlled manipulation of biological systems, including living cells or cellular components, for the processing or manufacturing of various products useful to humans. [1] The field of biotechnology also has many advantages which can change the life from micro-organisms to humans. [2] The advent of biotechnology has benefited fields such as agriculture, animal husbandry, the pharmaceutical industry and medical sciences. [1] Transgenic crops pose serious environmental risks, continuously underplayed by the biotechnology industry. [3] Key words: biotechnology; transgenic crops; developing countries; Malthusian view; environmental risks. [3]

Against the grain: biotechnology and the corporate takeover of food. [3] It is concluded that there are many other agro-ecological alternatives that can solve the agricultural problems that biotechnology aims at solving, but in a much more socially equitable manner and in a more environmentally harmonious way. [3] Ten reasons why biotechnology will not ensure food security, protect the environment and reduce poverty in the developing world. [3] Krimsky, S. and Wrubel, R.P. (1996). agricultural biotechnology and the environment: science, policy and social issues. [3] In agricultural biotechnology, genetic engineering has enabled the production of crops that are able to grow in non-ideal soil or in dry conditions. [1] Depressed economies may also be unable to take advantage of the potential benefits of agricultural biotechnology due to global overproduction. [1] Another concern about agricultural biotechnology centers around the uncertainty of genetically modified crops? long-term biological viability. [1]

The estimation that more than two trillion transgenic plants have been grown in 1999 and 2000 alone, with no overt documented adverse food reactions being reported, indicates that genetic modification through biotechnology will not impose immediate significant risks as food allergen sources beyond that of our daily dietary intake of foods from crop plants. [4] The use of biotechnology should be restricted to enhancing the quality of life for plants, animals and human beings only. [5] Over the last decade, scientists have been able to modify plants, organisms, human beings as well as animals using various techniques and tools of biotechnology. [5] Biotechnology undoubtedly has brought a number of reforms in human, plant as well as animal life. [5] Biotechnology has also given us several diagnostic kits which make it easier for human beings to detect pest infestation in plants and animals. [5] Plants and animals are able to yield better fruits and dairy products with the help of biotechnology. [5] Therefore, unlike conventional plant or animal breeding, most biotechnology products are not something that could occur “naturally.” [6] While some argue that current biotechnology innovations are just the next step in a long history of plant and animal breeding, others strongly disagree. [6] The Associated Press published a story about the future of GM food animals and the hurdles that segment of biotechnology faces. [7] Food biotechnology: is this good or bad? Implications to allergic diseases. – PubMed – NCBI Warning: The NCBI web site requires JavaScript to function. more. [4] With respect to safety, foods developed through biotechnology techniques represent one of the most extensively reviewed agricultural advancements in history. [4] It’s possible that the foods that come from biotechnology are not only safe to eat, they’re actually safer than their natural counterparts. [8] Food biotechnology represents advancement in the traditional interspecies and intergeneric breeding methods for improving food supplies worldwide. [4] Some argue, and some studies (Pretty, 1999) suggest, that biotechnology is only one of a suite of possibilities for raising world food yields. [6] Such analysis is challenging; not only does each biotechnology product pose its own potential benefit, it also poses its own unique environment (and health) risk (Pretty, 1999). [6] If a large human or environmental health catastrophe emerges due to poor national or international oversight, it could not only cause a short-term setback for the industry, but also jeopardize the entire future of biotechnology and its considerable potential. [6] And, many argue that public or foundation funding for biotechnology products geared to environmental protection or the needs of the poor are quite inadequate (Ruttan, 1999; Serageldin, 1999). [6] This lack of adequate regulatory framework is complicated by the need for countries to adopt acceptable rules and regulations that govern the trading of biotechnology products. [6] Another broad ecosystem concern is the potential effects of introducing multiple biotechnology products. [6] These concerns have been heightened not only by the rapid pace of product innovation, but also by recognition that the biotechnology products are possible because of the existence of a new technology, one with which the world has little experience. [6] Since the “Biotechnology Revolution” is being led by private companies, there is little reason to believe the products that emerge are destined to feed the billions on the planet or to protect the environment. [6] At least to date, there is not enough evidence to conclude whether overall pesticide damages to the environment are reduced due to the adoption of biotechnology products. [6] An alternative, less chemical dependent path could be supported by different biotechnology products than those that are currently emerging. [6] The privatization of information including germplasm has serious implications with respect to the provision of public goods as well as the distribution of biotechnology benefits to the less fortunate of the world. [6] These missing forces may mean that the social decision calculus for biotechnology is not well informed by the full range and distribution of benefits and costs. [6] The question remains whether biotechnology is the only or best way to achieve these yield increases, as well as whether biotechnology will increase yields in the location and crops most advantageous to the poor. [6] The book is intended to provide a history of biotechnology in agriculture over the past two decades, including both the facts and the controversies surrounding genetically modified crops. [9] The story of biotechnology in agriculture is one that Charles has followed for some years, and thus this book builds on his experience as a science reporter. [9] Everything in nature needs to have balance and thus is the case with the field of science and biotechnology as well. [5] Because the current biotechnology path has not been shaped by public investment or regulation, nor induced by growing scarcity in key inputs, and not pulled along by robust consumer markets, there is a particular need for careful public scrutiny. [6] The need to evangelize your personal reaction or that of your group using propaganda or half-truths creates an “ethical” confusion where none need exist if the discussion over the biotechnology and its benefits is moderate. [7] I agree with your argument that biotechnology, even with its numerous applications and benefits, could also have many serious drawbacks. [10]

Looking at the bright side of biotechnology, it has certainly improved the condition of human and animal living, but it also comes with its own share of disadvantages. [5] A number of human and animal diseases have found cure and prevention, all thanks to biotechnology. [5]

Biotechnology has modified plants to have their very own pest- resistant traits, which makes the use of harmful pesticides and insecticides less common on the farms. [5] The growing concentration in the biotechnology industry may dampen incentives to assure adequate diversity in plant germplasm. [6] The cost to approval for the biotechnology product is only one-fifth to one-seventh that of a chemical (Ollinger and Fernandez-Cornejo, 1995). [6] Some authors therefore, refer to biotechnology products as “technology-push” (as opposed to demand-pull) innovations (Krimsky and Wrubel, 1996; Russell, 1991; Hackings, 1986). [6] Because of the manner in which the products are regulated in the U.S., this biotechnology approach is particularly attractive to companies. [6] In the U.S., the time required to approve a new biotechnology product is about one-half the time of approving a new chemical pesticide compound. [6] While some of the biotechnology firms have information on biotechnology product performance, at least some of this information is guarded as intellectual property (Ransom, et al., 1998). [6]

It is more likely that autonomous innovations that arise primarily from the private sector, such as biotechnology, will catch public regulatory bodies unprepared for unintended social consequences. [6] Economic theory suggests that, if the “Biotechnology Revolution” is left to market forces alone, there will be neglected public goods. [6] This possibility that social goods may be neglected by autonomous innovations is heightened by the dominance of the private sector in the biotechnology arena. [6]

Genetic engineering is a very vital part of biotechnology and the cost of transferring genes from one species to another is very expensive, which requires a huge amount of capital investment. [5] Biotechnology involves genetic engineering, which is nothing but transferring gene from one and inserting them into another species. [10] The “Biotechnology Revolution” is being criticized for ignoring or exacerbating environmental problems. [6] Biotechnology also poses a number of environmental threats. [5]

Below are some of the positives as well as negatives of biotechnology. [5] With the help of biotechnology, we have been able to produce better tasting fruits as well as vegetables. [5]

As the bioeconomy grows and advanced biotechnology becomes as ubiquitous as information technology, public education should ensure an informed and responsible citizenry. [11] This is a week filled with the regulatory and public schizophrenia over biotechnology. [7]

According to international development, hunger and food security expert, Dr. Calestous Juma, Harvard University, the role of biotechnology represents “one of the key tools that could enable humanity to expand protein production in a sustainable way.” [7] While some claim that biotechnology is the answer to both food security and a healthy planet, others demur. [6] While some assert biotechnology is the solution to achieving a high yield, environmentally protecting agriculture (Shapiro, 1999); others suggest it should be considered an essential partner with more ecological approaches such as integrated pest management and with improved economic policies (Conway, 1999). [6] Biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, and the family farm. [6] In June Fessenden MacDonald (Ed.), Biotechnology and sustainable agriculture: policy alternatives (pp. 38-47). [6] Biotechnology and agriculture: a skeptical perspective Ag Bio Forum 2(1): 54-60. (Retrieved August 4, 1999 from the world wide web http://www.agbioforum.missouri.edu). [6] Can cooperatives survive the privatization of biotechnology in agriculture. [6]

Biotechnology is a “technology push” revolution, made possible through the rapid commercialization of recent scientific advances. [6]

The concerns surrounding potential negative environmental and eco-system function outcomes of agricultural biotechnology include impacts stemming from changes in pesticide use, impacts on non-target species, and pest and virus resistance. [6] The second theme is that missing markets for environmental and other attributes, as well as incomplete regulatory frameworks, may hinder agricultural biotechnology from reaching its potential for social good because important social costs are not reflected in the prices of inputs or outputs. [6] While the potential for these environmental benefits from agricultural biotechnology is real, it is yet unrealized. [6] Agricultural biotechnology is a double-edged environmental sword. [6] Agricultural biotechnology is the science of using genes to alter crops. [8] Agricultural biotechnology and the environment: science, policy and social issues. [6]

For many, these unique attributes of agricultural biotechnology are cause for concern. [6]

This provides a valuable perspective on how plants produced by modern biotechnology differ (and do not differ) from those that are produced by more traditional methods. [9] Modern biotechnology involves genetic manipulations of transferring DNA from one organism to another. [6]

In some surveys, consumers are asked whether they think the risks outweigh the benefits (or vice versa), whether they support the use of biotechnology to produce food, or whether they think the use of biotechnology in food production will increase the quality of their lives. [12] Government agencies and universities can play an important role in providing and disseminating objective and accessible information to consumers about biotechnology and food production. [12] The most important and fairly consistent finding is that the majority of consumers are uninformed about biotechnology and, more generally, about how food is produced. [12] These results indicate that looking at biotechnology in isolation is likely to overemphasize consumer concerns — for many, it is just one of several food safety issues they think about. [12] When consumers are asked if foods produced using biotechnology or genetic engineering should be labeled, a majority will say yes, usually around 80%. [12] Willingness to purchase biotech products is often assessed by asking how likely survey respondents would be to purchase or eat a food produced using biotechnology or genetic engineering. [12] Most studies find that roughly half of those surveyed have heard little or nothing about food produced using biotechnology, genetically modified (GM) foods or genetic engineering. [12] The process of genetic engineering is something that most of us never learned in school, so it?s a tough prospect for us to mentally categorize “food biotechnology” in the 2.5 seconds it scrolls by in our newsfeed. [13] Biotechnology is a growing industry, a relatively new science that is expected to grow in importance over the coming decades as we find new ways to improve food yield, modify vital crops for hardiness and protection against disease and extreme weather, and to grow in some of the most remote areas on the planet. [14] Biotechnology has the potential to develop crops far more resistant to disease, requiring less nutrients from the ground and able to survive harsh conditions. [14]

Crops produced with biotechnology really just look like crops, and GE plant breeding actually targets far fewer genes (that “essence”) than traditional hybrid plant breeding or other methods used in organic production. [13] Congress defined biotechnology as “any technique that uses living organisms or their products to make or modify a product, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses.” (1). [14] The 2001 Gallup Poll found that while a slight majority (52%) support the use of biotechnology in food production (38% opposed), a larger proportion strongly oppose it (14%) relative to those who strongly support it (9%). [12] More general knowledge (or lack of it) about how food is produced is sometimes revealed in the answers to questions that have little to do with biotechnology. [12] The IFIC studies conducted between 1997 and 2003 each asked “as far as you know, are there any foods produced through biotechnology in the supermarket now?” Over the years, “Yes” responses ranged from 33% to 43%. [12] A meta-analysis of more than 1,700 separate studies determined that no credible studies showed any illness or health hazard from eating food produced using biotechnology. [13] Major authorities on food, health, and science–from the American Medical Association to the World Health Organization to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics–continue to review the vast body of evidence and confirm that biotechnology is safe. [13] About one-third said that biotechnology or biotech products were “one of the things that worries” them “most” or “a great deal” about food safety. [12] The studies discussed do not show overwhelming opposition to biotech products, and yet consumer acceptance is still cited as a barrier to adoption or development of biotechnology. [12]

Other ways that we, as humans, interact with our environment, from communications towers to medical treatment to the centuries of domesticated crops, have created incredible benefits, and biotechnology can and does do the same. [13] One of the most recent developments in biotechnology is the use of certain crops and grasses for biofuel (6). [14] How do we use biotechnology in America? In medicine- discovery of new drugs, accurate methods of determining proper dosage, safeer vaccantions, and genetic testing. [15] The next question was the same, but this time it was prefaced with “Now, as you may know, more than half of products at the grocery store are produced using some form of biotechnology or genetic modification. [12] Conclusion What is biotechnology? Biotechnolgy is defined as the manipulation (as through genetic engineering) of living organisms or their components to produce useful usually commercial products. [15] In some recent surveys, a definition of biotechnology or genetic engineering was read to respondents. [12] Many surveys ask respondents to rate the extent of their knowledge or familiarity with biotechnology or genetic engineering. [12] The IFIC surveys conducted between 1997 and 2003 show a slight decline in the proportion of respondents who thought that biotechnology would provide benefits within the next 5 years, from 78% in 1997 to 62% in 2003. [12] The IFIC surveys (2003) found a higher proportion of the respondents having read or heard “some” or “a lot” about biotechnology, ranging between 33% and 47%, with no clear pattern over time. [12] Shanahan et al. ( 2001 ) reviewed 12 surveys conducted between 1993 and 2000, and in 10 at least 50% of the respondents had heard “not much” or “nothing at all” about biotechnology. [12] Most surveys address this problem by providing a brief description of biotechnology or genetic engineering. [12] ”With genetic engineering you can make things a lot worse,” said Dr. Steven M. Block, a biology professor at Stanford who led a group of scientists that looked at how biotechnology might be applied to weapons. [16]

In July, Trends in Plant Science published an opinion piece on the psychology of opposition to biotechnology, entitled “Fatal Attraction: The Intuitive Appeal of GMO Opposition.? [13] Since the 1960s, biotechnology has grown to become one of the most important emerging sciences. [14]

Concern about the potential of biotechnology was stirred earlier this year when Australian scientists reported that by transferring an immune system gene into the mousepox virus in an effort to design a contraceptive, they inadvertently created a highly lethal virus. [16] The debate itself shows there is concern that the very same biotechnology that is bringing about a revolution in medicine can also be used to create diabolical new biological weapons or make existing pathogens worse. [16]

Any artificial modification of the natural world for the purpose of human enterprise is biotechnology. [14] Nearly 70 percent of the conversations about biotechnology on social media are negative. [13]

While education is unlikely to settle the debate about the relative costs and benefits of agricultural biotechnology, it would at least enable consumers to understand the choices they make when they do their food shopping. [12] A less clear pattern is revealed in three surveys conducted for the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology ( 2001, 2003 ), an organization funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts to provide unbiased information and encourage public debate about agricultural biotechnology. [12] One of the most notable regularities in survey responses is the lack of U.S. consumer awareness about agricultural biotechnology. [12] Questions attempting to assess consumer attitudes toward agricultural biotechnology have been included in many surveys in a number of forms. [12] Results from consumer surveys reveal some basic conclusions about consumer attitudes toward agricultural biotechnology. [12] Individual consumer surveys are subject to interpretation, but together they tell a fairly consistent story about attitudes and knowledge of agricultural biotechnology. [12] Although consumer preferences could potentially play an important role in the future of agricultural biotechnology, little is known about them. [12] Consumer knowledge and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology vary. [12]

Agricultural biotechnology offers the potential of feeding a hungry world, said Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health. [17] They may oppose agricultural biotechnology as a whole, but they often target individual companies (such as with mock company Web sites depicting products and brands as dangerous). [12] Given the variety of ways of asking questions about attitudes toward agricultural biotechnology, it is not surprising that results are mixed. [12]

Biotechnology has tremendous potential for increasing food production and improving food processing although the real impact will only be felt after the year 2000 and it will differ from country to country. [18] Long before the development of biotechnology, many new technologies with the potential to improve the world’s food situation had been developed, yet many of these techniques have still not been adopted in those countries that could profit significantly from their use. [18] The potential of biotechnology for improving food and nutrition in developing countries is vast indeed. [18] Present-day applications of biotechnology in food processing are far more advanced than applications in the field of plant genetic engineering. [18] Biotechnology can also help to eliminate toxic components, either by genetic engineering or through food processing. [18] Biotechnology can be used for the upgrading of traditional food processing based on fermentation such as the procedures used to produce gari, a fermented, gritty and starchy food derived from cassava. [18] Biotechnology has helped improve food quality, quantity and processing. [19]

Biotechnology can facilitate the mass production of these fungi in a storable form and the use of these products may be less expensive than that of agrochemicals. [18] The use of biotechnology in animal production has advanced more quickly than its applications in plant production. [18] Its specific areas of specialization are plant biotechnology, agricultural production systems, agricultural markets and policy. [20] Biotechnology promises to bring important changes in plant as well as livestock production. [18] There is scarcely any aspect of plant production that will hot undergo profound changes as a result of the application of biotechnology. [18] In addition to eliminating unwanted components, biotechnology can be used for the inexpensive production of additives that increase the nutritive value of the final product or that improve its flavour, texture or appearance. [18] Biotechnology can be used in many ways to achieve higher yields; for example by improving flowering capacity and increasing photosynthesis or the intake of nutritive elements. [18] Biotechnology, like all technologies, is not in itself good or bad. [21] According to David Lawrence, biotechnology, like all technologies, is not in itself good or bad. [21]

Animal health, the second field, can be improved with new biotechnology methods of diagnosis, prevention and control of animal diseases. [18] Biotechnology is most important for its implications in health and medicine. [19] Moral views about nature–claims that nature or a natural state of affairs has value–are important in contemporary debates about biotechnology. [22]

Conservation tillage and plant biotechnology: how new technologies can improve the environment by reducing the need to plow. [20] In the 1980s, scientists began using biotechnology, a method of transferring genes directly into a plant without the long process of trial and error. [23] The oldest example of industrial biotechnology must surely be brewing, using yeast to convert plant sugars. [21]

Biotechnology helps to identify the strains of bacteria most suitable for specific crops and soils and to multiply them for large-scale use. [18] Unhelpful polarization is also visible in the debate on biofuels, industrial biotechnology and the non-food uses of agriculture. [21] We have the opportunity, through recently acquired knowledge, to greatly expand our use of biotechnology to address some of our main challenges. [21]

Through biotechnology, more specialized herbicides have been replaced by a smaller number of safer, broad spectrum compounds with reduced environmental impacts. [20] Environmental Benefits: Thanks to biotechnology, farmers have adopted no- and reduced-tillage systems which utilize herbicidal weed control rather than plowing. [20] IFT convened three panels of experts, consisting of IFT members and other prominent biotechnology authorities, to evaluate the scientific evidence and write a report divided into four sections: Introduction, Safety, Labeling, and Benefits and Concerns. [24]

Simply put, biotechnology is the application of advances made in the biological sciences, especially involving the science of genetics and its application. [19] Accordingly, various segments of the rural population will be affected in very different ways as a result of specific applications of biotechnology in a given country. [18] The same barriers that have prevented the acceptance of earlier waves of new technologies may also hinder the application of biotechnology, thereby preventing the realization of its full potential. [18] Biotechnology can help reduce the need for agrochemicals which small farmers in developing countries often cannot afford. [18] These are the sorts of questions opened up for society by the growth and advancement of Biotechnology. [19] We will rely on you to help lend your voice and support the biotechnology industry. [20] Learn more about BIO initiatives to advance the biotechnology industry. [20]

While technology generally aims to create tools to empower man, biotechnology aims to change man himself, to better fit him to the world. [19] Many observers have suggested that just as the late 20th century has been the age of computer technology, so the early 21st century will be the age of biotechnology. [19]

The agricultural biotechnology industry would benefit from a regulatory system that increases consumer confidence in food product safety. [24] Diet, Nutrition, and Health Benefits. rDNA biotechnology has the potential to provide more food to the world and foods of improved nutritional composition to meet the specific needs of different populations. [24] The body of existing scientific evidence leads to the conclusion that there are no increased adverse health or environmental effects attributable to the use of rDNA biotechnology in food production. [24] Food Technology Uses of Bioprocessing. rDNA biotechnology enables optimization of the microorganisms and enzymes necessary for processing of fermented foods such as cheeses, pickles, wine, beer, and sausages, resulting in food ingredients of higher quality and purity as well as ingredients not otherwise available. [24] In an effort to contribute to a meaningful dialogue on scientific issues and consumer concerns about rDNA biotechnology, the Institute of Food Technologists, a non-profit society for food science and technology, conducted a comprehensive review of biotechnology. [24] With the current higher degree of regulatory oversight for all foods derived from rDNA biotechnology, there is less likelihood of adverse effects to consumers than with new conventional foods. [24] The transition from traditional plant breeding to the use of rDNA biotechnology has raised several issues of consumer concern. [24] Environmental Benefits. rDNA biotechnology has been used to develop herbicide-tolerant crops that enable the use of comparatively environmentally benign herbicides and increase the flexibility in crop rotation. [24] Listed below are examples of existing and potential benefits offered by the use of rDNA biotechnology. [24]

Farmers get a greater financial return while using more environmentally friendly farming practices through the use of agricultural biotechnology. [20] Decades of documented evidence demonstrates that agricultural biotechnology is a safe and beneficial technology that contributes to both environmental and economic sustainability. [20] U.S. farm income benefits from 1996-2007 are estimated at nearly $20 billion resulting from enhanced productivity and efficiency gains from agricultural biotechnology. [20]

Animal biotechnology is a branch of biotechnology in which molecular biology techniques are used to genetically engineer (i.e. modify the genome of) animals in order to improve their suitability for agriculture, industrial, or pharmaceutical applications. [25] Animal biotechnology has been used to produce genetically modified animals that synthesize therapeutic proteins, have improved growth rates or are resistant to disease. [25]

Precautions should continue to be taken to assure that breeding methods, whether traditional or rDNA biotechnology, do not result in an increase in risk. [24]

New products and techniques resulting from the application of biotechnology, like products of all science, technology, and engineering, need to be evaluated for their risks and benefits, including social implications, before they are deployed. [26] For that reason, we will support or oppose specific biotechnology products or processes based on transparent assessments of their health, environmental, social, and economic risks and benefits. [26] The risks and benefits of biotechnology products will often vary by organism, geography and other variables, and need to be assessed at relevant temporal and spatial scales. [26] Despite these potential benefits, several areas of concern exist around the use of biotechnology in animals. [27]

Many of the ethical issues that form part of the biotechnology debate can apply also to food and agricultural systems in general. [28] Biotechnology, in particular, becomes an issue when it entails a discourse on food. [28] Biotechnology has helped to improve the nutritional content of our food supply. [29] Biotechnology can also help croplands be able to produce foods that may not be possible under “regular” conditions. [29] Biotechnology gives us an opportunity to extend the lifespan of our food supplies. [29] Biotechnology has allowed more vitamins and minerals to enter our food chain, but it could be coming at a cost. [29]

Their grand aim is to improve human nutrition and health using plant biotechnology. [30] From super crops to better medicines, biotechnology from plants could make a big difference in our lives. [30] These new advances showcase the potential of plant biotechnology to change the way people eat and treat illnesses. [30]

I agree biotechnology isn’t “inherently good or bad” but I’m not so sure that “we can make life better for all living beings” (my emphasis) because surely some individuals will suffer and die for the good of their own or perhaps other species. [31] She writes, “Biotechnology is not inherently good or bad; it is simply a set of techniques, and we have choices about how we employ them. [31] Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. offers a broad range of Bad antibodies. [32]

For this reason, EDF does not support or oppose broad categories of biotechnology products, such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and recognizes that some proposed products may not result in beneficial outcomes or warrant support. [26] Similar to other emerging technologies, biotechnology has instigated worldwide debate and confusion as a result of mixed messages from various people – be they scientists, academics, critics, industry, religious representatives or consumer bodies. [28]

The Jubilee of the Agricultural World Address of John Paul II in 2000 mentioned that in agricultural production or in the case of biotechnology, it must not be evaluated solely on the basis of immediate economic interest but through rigorous scientific and ethical examination (Vatican, 2000). [28] Biotechnology is mentioned as having powerful social, economic, and political impact but that it should be used with prudence, objectivity, and responsibility (Vatican, 2004). [28] By placing biotechnology in the light of globalization, societal debate has moved towards a discussion of ethical and social impacts (Paula, 2001). [28]

In 2000, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly recommended that it was increasingly important to include ethical considerations centered on humankind, society and the environment in deliberations regarding developments and applications in biotechnology, life sciences, and technology. [28] Biotechnology is a field that merges concepts from biology with concepts of technology. [29] Today?s biotechnology specialists are doing the same thing, but on a much larger scale thanks to technology improvements in the 20th and 21st centuries. [29]

Biotechnology is touted as a saving grace of our weird and wired world because it uses “nature” to further human ends. [33] Although the amount of land our planet can provide is finite, biotechnology allows us to be able to use more of it for what we need. [29] Over 100,000 monthly visitors use it to keep an eye on the business and innovations in biotechnology. [30] Some of the biotechnology techniques in use today are extremely inefficient at producing fetuses that survive. [27]

Biotechnology allows us to create waste products that have better biodegradable properties. [29] My own take is that biotechnology has gone way too far and in many cases demeans nonhuman animals (animals) as we manipulate and control their lives. [31] For that reason, certain areas of study in biotechnology, such as human cloning, have been restricted or outlawed outright. [29] Others believe that biotechnology disrupts natural order and violates the limits of what humans are ethically permitted to do. [28]

One of the biggest problems that biotechnology faces is a lack of genetic diversity. [29] All the benefits that biotechnology can provide could also be turned into a weapon that is used for mass destruction. [29] Advancement is the primary benefit that biotechnology is able to provide. [29]

Working Paper No. 3 prepared for the first meeting of the FANRPAN/IFPRI Regional Policy Dialogue on Biotechnology, Agriculture, and Food Security in Southern Africa. [28] Ethics: The key to public acceptance of biotechnology? Biotechnology and Development Monitor. [28] The worldwide debate on the pros and cons of biotechnology have been likened to a battleground and a prominent place for virtually every ethical concern. [28] Medicines can be made with biotechnology, but diseases can also be weaponized. [29] Biotechnology also improves cropland yields and nutritional density, so people can eat less and still receive the same nutritional values. [29]

Concerns surrounding the use of animal biotechnology include the unknown potential health effects to humans from food products created by transgenic or cloned animals, the potential effects on the environment and the effects on animal welfare. [27] The potential benefits of animal biotechnology are numerous and include enhanced nutritional content of food for human consumption; a more abundant, cheaper and varied food supply; agricultural land-use savings; a decrease in the number of animals needed for the food supply; improved health of animals and humans; development of new, low-cost disease treatments for humans; and increased understanding of human disease. [27] While it has been noted that animals might, in fact, benefit from the use of animal biotechnology — through improved health, for example — the majority of discussion is about the known and unknown potential negative impacts to animal welfare through the process. [27] Another major concern surrounding the use of animal biotechnology is the potential for negative impact to the environment. [27]

The government agencies involved in the regulation of animal biotechnology, mainly the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), likely will rule on pending policies and establish processes for the commercial uses of products created through the technology. [27] The main governing body for animal biotechnology and their products is the FDA. Specifically, these products fall under the new animal drug provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). [27]

Ethics in agricultural biotechnology therefore encompass value judgments that cover the production, processing, and distribution of food and agricultural products. [28] The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology is an independent, objective source of information on agricultural biotechnology. [27] Food and agricultural biotechnology: Incorporating ethical considerations. http:///www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agbiotech/Thompsonpaper/Thompson3.html. [28]

Other questions must be answered first, such as, “What substances expressed as a result of the genetic modification are likely to remain in food?” Despite these questions, the National Academies of Science (NAS) released a report titled Animal Biotechnology: Science-Based Concerns stating that the overall concern level for food safety was determined to be low. [27] The main question posed about the safety of food produced through animal biotechnology for human consumption is, “Is it safe to eat?” But answering that question isn?t simple. [27] If a product of animal biotechnology has been proven scientifically by the FDA to be safe for human consumption and the environment and not materially different from similar products produced via conventional means, these individuals say it is unfair and without scientific rationale to single out that product for labeling solely because of the process by which it was made. [27] Concern exists about the toxicity of unintended expression products in the animal biotechnology process. [27] Whether products generated from genetically engineered animals should be labeled is yet another controversy surrounding animal biotechnology. [27]

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is part of the USDA; its site contains information about the science behind animal biotechnology and a glossary of terms. [27] Animal biotechnology is the use of science and engineering to modify living organisms. [27] Animal biotechnology in use today is based on the science of genetic engineering. [27]

Another major application of animal biotechnology is the use of animal organs in humans. [27] Examples of animal biotechnology include creating transgenic animals (animals with one or more genes introduced by human intervention), using gene knock out technology to make animals with a specific inactivated gene and producing nearly identical animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer (or cloning). [27] Those opposed to using the patent system for animal biotechnology have suggested using breed registries to protect intellectual property. [27]

Under the umbrella of genetic engineering exist other technologies, such as transgenics and cloning, that also are used in animal biotechnology. [27] The animal biotechnology in use today is built on a long history. [27] The site contains extensive articles on the ethical and social issues involved in animal biotechnology. [27] Ethical and social considerations surrounding animal biotechnology are of significant importance. [27]

Despite the diversity of ethical issues in agricultural biotechnology, there is a need to understand beliefs and doctrines as this allows coexistence within and across societies, and prevents social conflict. [28]

This includes allegations that products derived from modern biotechnology are being introduced by private companies that have an obligation to make profits. [28] Animal biotechnology clearly has its skeptics as well as its outright opponents. [27]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(33 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)

1. (40) Biotechnology and the Environment:

2. (29) Consumer knowledge and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology vary – California Agriculture – University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources

3. (25) Animal Biotechnology | About Bioscience

4. (17) Biotechnology: the impact on food and nutrition in developing countries

5. (15) Ethics and Agricultural Biotechnology – Pocket K | ISAAA.org

6. (14) 11 Biotechnology Pros and Cons | Vittana.org

7. (13) Positive and negative effects of biotechnology | My Essay Point

8. (11) Benefits and Concerns Related to rDNA Biotechnology-Derived Foods – IFT.org

9. (9) Agricultural Biotechnology Benefits Farmers – BIO

10. (7) The Disadvantages of Biotechnology | Sciencing

11. (7) “Spooky” Science: Why Do Some Fear Biotech Despite the Science Saying It’s Safe?

12. (6) Future of Agriculture: Facts About GM Crops and Biotech | EnvironmentalScience.org

13. (6) Why Study Biotechnology? – Biological Sciences – Biological Sciences – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

14. (6) AgBioForum 2(3&4): Ten Reasons Why Biotechnology will not Help the Developing World

15. (5) Will biotechnology provide food security? | World Economic Forum

16. (4) Our position on biotechnology | Environmental Defense Fund

17. (4) How Biotechnology from Plants Can Give Us Better Food and Medicines

18. (4) Food biotechnology: is this good or bad? Implications to allergic diseases. – PubMed – NCBI

19. (4) Biotech – Good, bad? – Brownfield Ag News

20. (3) With Biotechnology, a Potential to Harm – The New York Times

21. (3) Frankenstein’s Cat: Biotechnology, Strange Creatures, and Us | Psychology Today

22. (3) Biotechnology in Agriculture: Good or Bad? | BioScience | Oxford Academic

23. (2) Hazards of Biotechnology (Disadvantages and negative effects of Biotech)

24. (2) Is biotechnology a good thing or a bad thing? by shanya hayes on Prezi

25. (2) Animal Biotechnology | National Institute of Food and Agriculture

26. (2) Are foods made using biotechnology safe to eat? | HowStuffWorks

27. (1) The good, the bad and the deadly: the dark side of biotechnology

28. (1) Feeding the world with agricultural biotechnology | American Council on Science and Health

29. (1) Why is biotechnology bad? – Quora

30. (1) Nature, Human Nature, and Biotechnology – The Hastings Center

31. (1) Benefits of GMOs and Biotechnology | Monsanto

32. (1) Bad Antibody | SCBT – Santa Cruz Biotechnology

33. (1) Biotechnology: Bad Technology? | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson