Health concerns that arise with genetic engineering include the potential for increased allergenicity, decreased efficacy of antibiotics and increased cancer risks.
Increased allergens and toxins in the food system.
GE has the potential to increase allergens in the food system through the introduction of known allergens to a new food host where the allergens cannot be readily identified. The process of GE could create new toxins and increase the prevalence of allergens and toxins in the food system.
The public's say is critical. Consumers have no way to know when they are eating genetically altered foods. That's because the Food and Drug Administration has chosen not to classify alien genes as food additives and therefore does not require that they be listed on food labels. A bag of corn chips, for instance, must disclose that salt has been added, but it need not reveal that the corn itself has been genetically manipulated to contain its own pesticide. At a minimum, shouldn't shoppers have a right to make informed decisions?
In this debate I will dispel the fear that genetic engineering is too dangerous to be legal.
Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard entomologist, believes that we will soon be faced with difficult genetic dilemmas. Because of expected advances in gene therapy, we will not only be able to eliminate or at least alleviate genetic disease, we may be able to enhance certain human abilities such as mathematics or verbal ability. He says, "Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become." As early as 1978, Wilson reflected on our eventual need to "decide how human we wish to remain."
Arrogance and greed has led to exploitation of our natural resources. Nature has dealt the cards given, and we have failed miserably to share the bounties equally with each other. Now we are stepping up the pace by manipulating what precious commodities that we have left.
If the current rate of growth is sustained, the world's population will double, from 6 billion to 12 billion, in approximately 50 years. Even if a policy of 2.1 children per couple, instead of the current rate of nearly 3 children per couple, could be adopted tomorrow, the world's population would continue to grow for approximately 70 years before stabilizing at nearly 12 billion….A recent report from the World Health Organization signaled the seriousness of the human population explosion: more than 3 billion people -- half the worlds population -- are malnourished. Never before have so many, or such a large proportion, of the world's people been malnourished. Malnourishment does far more than make it difficult for people to work or enjoy their daily lives; it is a serious ailment that increases a person's susceptibility to life-threatening diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, and AIDS.
My opponent has suggested that fear is the motivating factor preventing mankind's progression. I want to replace that word with a healthy alternative: Respect.
One way that genetic engineering can increase health is by cutting and creating genes. For example, a diabetic's body lacks the important hormone insulin. Scientists first remove the gene that creates insulin from a healthy donor. Using hybrid techniques, an insulin gene can be created and replicated for a diabetic… The treatment of heart disease can also now be accomplished using genetic engineering. A company called Cardiovascular Genetic Engineering Inc. has used angiogenic (heart + genes) theories to create more blood vessels in and around the heart of patients with blocked arteries. This company hopes to find cures for cancer and other diseases using genetic methods in the future.
It is true the human race has acted with little foresight and have thus found ourselves confronted with may difficult problems it is imperative that we find solutions.
Genetic engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal
1. the development and application of scientific methods, procedures, and technologies that permit direct manipulation of genetic material in order to alter the hereditary traits of a cell, organism, or population.
At the heart of that argument is the question the Supreme Court will take up: Are plants created from seeds eligible for utility patents? The two lower courts heard the case in 1998 and 2000, and said yes. For utility patents, federal law now says that any "new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof may obtain a patent."
I am not arguing about the PROGRESSION of the human race
Ananda Chakrabarty, the University of Illinois scientist who in 1978 invented the oil-eating bacterium, said he still favors granting patents on life forms because it rewards inventors and fosters innovation. "If someone could make organs of some kind out of human cells inside an
animal embryo, then why not do so and patent them?" Chakrabarty said. Still, Chakrabarty added, some limits on the ownership of human-like beings may be appropriate. "It depends upon how far you want to go."
While many fear the possible impacts of genetically modified organisms and other products, those that have reached the market so far have not undone the natural order of life on Earth.
While Congressional hearings are now being called for by grieving pet owners, and class action suits put together, this debacle could have catastrophic consequences not only for conventional agribusiness, of which the pet food industry is a lucrative subsidiary, but also for the
agricultural biotechnology industry, with its millions of acres of genetically engineered crops around the world.
Well...I am. My above example wouldn't be progression, on the contrary, we're looking at possible enslavement, of the worst kind.
I would like to steer my opponent's and our reader's attention back to the title of our debate:
While Congressional hearings are now being called for by grieving pet owners, and class action suits put together, this debacle could have catastrophic consequences not only for conventional agribusiness, of which the pet food industry is a lucrative subsidiary, but also for the agricultural biotechnology industry, with its millions of acres of genetically engineered crops around the world. link
How many more 'casualties' will lay at the wayside, before we wise up to our actions.
“On March 23, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that rat poison in contaminated wheat gluten imported from China was responsible for the suffering and deaths of an as yet uncounted numbers of cats and dogs across North America. The poison is a chemical compound called aminopterin.”
ccording to Penn State plant geneticist and molecular biologist Nina Fedoroff, “Genetically modified foods are as safe to eat as foods made from plants modified by more traditional methods of plant breeding. In fact, they are very probably safer, simply because they undergo testing that has never been required for food plants modified either by traditional breeding techniques or by mutagenesis, both of which can alter a plant's chemical composition. link
Recombinant DNA technology involves combining genetic material from different sources thereby creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that may have never existed in nature before. Initially there was concern among molecular biologists that such organisms might have unpredictable and undesirable properties that could represent a biohazard if they escaped from the laboratory. This concern became the focus of a scientific conference held in Asilomar, CA, USA, in 1975 (45). At that meeting, safety issues were discussed and the first guidelines for recombinant DNA technology were proposed. The subsequent 25+ years of research experience have demonstrated that genetic engineering may be conducted in a safe manner when an appropriate risk assessment is performed and adequate safety measures are used. link
It is common knowledge that change causes fear.
This plain and simple is a Fear Tactic to raise support for his argument. It insinuates that the damage done to peoples pets was done by GM contaminants in pet food.
where he challenged some of the statements made in my first post.
The first point raised by my opponent, after claiming that my point of population growth was off topic, was in regards to the issue of Patenting genetically modified plants
You may be wondering what does this have to do with our debate? It is an example of how patent offices regard plants. In this case Rice Tec was unable to patent Basmati because it was considered all ready under ownership that is traditional ownership.
My opponent then moves on to equate the above topic to patenting Humans and Human Parts. Although this is far more concerning than the patenting of Plants it is of the realm of Science-Fiction. While there have been experiments to grow human parts there is no current effort being made to incorporate them into actual living humans
What evidence do you have to support the claim that GE is close to developing the technology for genetically modifying humans while in the womb?
What evidence do you have that there is any effort underway to develop legal precedent to make humans “slaves” based on the fact that they contain GM organs or parts?
What are the “Legal and Ethical issues” that make GM unsafe in the here and now?
My opponent has thus far, NOT provided Legal 'recourses', to prop his stance - that is conducive to the original THEME of this debate, but has merely Parrotted 'off-kilter', 'cited references', to throw the audience 'off track'.
It is these agencies who oversee the legalities and ensure that these
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Products are regulated according to their intended use, and some products are regulated by more than one agency. Together, these agencies ensure that the products of modern biotechnology are safe to grow, safe to eat, and safe for the environment. USDA, EPA, and FDA apply regulations to biotechnology that are based on the specific nature of each GE organism. Assessments are based on the biological characteristics of the new organism. linky
Concerned about potential misuse of detailed genetic information, NIH in 1992 created the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Branch of the project, which receives 3% of the multimillion-dollar genome budget. In the 1993 progress report, Michael Gottesman, acting director of NIH Intramural Research, introduces the most urgent research, educational, and policy issues, including developing consent and confidentiality guidelines for research with human subjects; determining a professional standard of care for delivering new genetic services; developing uniform standards governing the privacy of organs, blood, and tissues banked for clinical purposes; protecting against employment and insurance discrimination based on genetic information; and improving public understanding of the potential and limits of genetics to prevent overly deterministic readings of genetic test results that expose people to social stigma. linky
I hope to God that my opponent hasn't had a pet, that went through the reprecussions of my last post.
You've already conceded to the fact, that you were off topic:
’The first point raised by my opponent, after claiming that my point of population growth was off topic, was in regards to the issue of Patenting genetically modified plants’
And this in fact, had absolutely WHAT? to do with the Original Topic given to us, to debate with. Legalities?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 25,000 people died of starvation every day in 2003, and as of 2001 to 2003, about 800 million people were chronically undernourished. linky
Exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely. If the current world value for r (1.2%) remains unchanged, the world population would grow from its current 6.6 billion to 9.3 billion over the next 43 years (2050). linky
Like it or not the worlds population is growing exponentially. Already we are having a hard time feeding the worlds population. If we do nothing to increase the amount of food we produce we will see starvation reach a hellish level, with humans on every continent and in every city dying on the streets.
The real causes of hunger:
Poverty and lack of access to resources: Hunger and malnutrition are a direct result of a lack of access to, or exclusion from, productive resources, such as land, the forests, the seas, water, seeds, technology and credit. Seventy-five percent of the world's hungry are politically
marginalised people who live in rural areas. An example of the grossly unequal distribution of land that directly contributes to hunger: in Latin America, 80 percent of agricultural land is in the hands of 20 percent of the farmers; the other 20 percent of the land is in the hands of the remaining 80 percent.
Patent applications for such gene fragments have sparked controversy among scientists, many of whom have urged the USPTO not to grant broad patents in this early stage of human genome research to applicants who have neither characterized the genes nor determined their functions and uses.
TheDuckster definately did try to hang a portion of her arguments on unrealistic fears, particularly where the idea of patenting a child was concerned, and Animal shot that right down. That was a decisive point in this debate. The debate over topic also clearly went to Animal, "too dangerous to be legal" implies a cost-benefit analysis, and this makes providing for a growing population relevant. The pet food example was yet another winning point for Animal- catching an opponent with a bad reading of source material is always big. Long story short, I'd say this one was all around Animal's debate.
The largest problem with those who stand opposed to genetic engineering is the GENERALIZATION that GE of any form, in any way, in any situation is too dangerous to be undertaken. They leave no room for the possibility that GE could in any way be beneficial to humans and the natural world.
Genetic engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal