The process of incorporating new genes from one species of animals or plants into another organism to yield a desired outcome is called Genetic engineering. In other words, this alteration consists of a procedure in which the modification of DNA takes place, for example, taking DNA from a plant or any particular animal and injecting it into the DNA of other living creature to get some better characteristics in the methodically produced organism. The idea behind this technology is definitely for the good, but there are some inadvertent outcomes that cannot be neglected. Let’s evaluate them further.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering
Pros of Genetic engineering technology
Highly nutritious food in adequate amount
Food with high nutritional value can be produced now with the help of genetic engineering. After the introduction of GM foods, we can now get an adequate amount of nutrition even with the intake of fewer food products. There is one more benefit associated with this advancement, that is, areas where food scarcity is a major problem can be taken care of by shipping the food produced by genetically engineering technology. Even the food can be transported to places located at longer distances because when the food is properly engineered its lifespan increases and it can survive for long during harsh climates.
Development of special features in animals and plants.
The outcome of food products with GM technology bears some specific traits such as, healthier, faster crops. Even some attractive food products have also been seen, for example, a range of products with different colors. In the case of animals too, the modified gene in an organism allows it to show extraordinary traits. More milk can be obtained from cows who have been experimented with this technology. Not only this, more muscle tissues can be grown from poultry.
Modifying and suppression of genetic disorders in humans
Clearly it is the biggest advantage of Genetic engineering. The advanced discovery of manipulation of genes can help in inculcating some exceptional qualities in humans as now by introducing genotypes to alter the DNA of human beings can lead to desirable structural and functional changes in humans. Owing to this discovery, now many diseases caused by faulty genes of the parents can be prevented from passing into the babies.
Pest resistance in crops
A higher level of pest resistance quality can be built with Genetic modifications to plants. Built-in repellents can prevent the crops from being used without the requirement of the application of pesticides and various harmful chemicals. Therefore, with fewer chemicals and fertilizers, we can shield our freshwater supplies more effectively with biotechnology.
Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering
A threat to the ecosystem
It has been observed that more and more experiments are being done with the food’s genes, this production brings the risk of disruption of ecosystem and biodiversity. In simple words, although in an attempt to yield better results in an organism by engineering its genes can favor one organism but the artificial insertion of genes into other organisms can destabilize that particular creature that would lead to genetic mutations which can prove detrimental to the environment as well as to humans Consequently, the natural procedure of the gene flow can get disturbed which can prove a disaster to the ecosystem.
Animals are treated as commodities.
While Genetic engineering methods endeavor to make animals healthier, the purpose behind practicing these experiments is to fulfill human requirements. A big example would be, “Dolly the Sheep”, the very first mammal produced from an adult somatic cell and is often publicized as the only lamb that was created by the cloning process that took 277 attempts. During this process, only 29 early embryos were created and thirteen surrogate mothers were involved in the process. These scenarios can be destructive when the advanced genetic engineering science is used solely humanly purposes by treating animals just as a mean to bear fruits.
GM foods are not always nutritious
The purpose of producing highly nutritional food does not always fulfil. For example, now that poultry produces at record pace, the accumulated fat within the muscle tissue affects the nutritional value of the meat that is being consumed by humans. The rapid growth can reduce the level of protein and the nutrients level in the chickens with an excess amount of fat.
This advanced science of altering genes should be managed with utmost care. The experiments should be run diligently and decisions in this process should not be impulsive to avoid the possible damage to the ecosystem. If scientists weigh the pros and cons before any experiments, this technology can show us amazing results in future.