Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - Printable Version
+- Biotechnology Forums (https://www.biotechnologyforums.com)
+-- Forum: Biotechnology Discussion (https://www.biotechnologyforums.com/forum-1.html)
+--- Forum: Main Biotechnology Discussion Forum (https://www.biotechnologyforums.com/forum-2.html)
+--- Thread: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology (/thread-1926.html)
Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - Charles - 12-18-2012
There are numerous discussions about the development and use of modern biotechnology, especially about the safety of genetically modified foods. Benefits for human health, as well as risks can be divided into four categories:
- Increased food safety
- Enhanced nutritional composition of foods
- Food with even more health benefits
- Reduction of certain chronic diseases related to diet
By the application of genetic engineering, organoleptic properties and expiration date of certain grains were able to improve. Delaying the rotting process of fruit and vegetables provides better quality, taste, color and texture. With the help of genetic engineering it is possible to create foods with greater amount of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Also, by increasing crop yields deforestation is prevented, and, the most important for the developing countries, economic development is accelerated.
For developing countries, particularly useful is growing beans resistant pathogens, virus-resistant papaya, cotton, and rice enriched with vitamin A. The production of certain vaccines for oral use is also important, which would be cheaper, easier to store and less stressful to use than the previous ones, and would be used for prevention of diarrhea, cholera and hepatitis B.
On the other hand, for many researchers, and the public production of so-called Frankenstein food is unacceptable tampering with nature.
- Nutrient imbalance
- Decrease of food diversity
There are concerns that the use of genetic engineering in the food industry can increase sensitivity to certain allergens. In fact, the transfer of allergenic properties of donor can be transferred to recipient. Foreign genes can disrupt the balance of nutrients. The question is how that changes will affect:
- Interaction of nutrients
- Interaction between nutrients and genes
- Bioavailability of nutrients
- Metabolism and
- "Strength" of nutrients.
By the production of genetically modified foods, different genes from different genetically modified organisms are transmitted in different ways. So far, this food is present in the market, because it is approved in many studies, so it is a little likely to endanger the life of man.
In order to determine the attitude to genetically modified products, we need to have in mind many facts, such as the rapid growth in world population, the available farmland, environment and the characteristics of genetically modified food and its impact on human health. At the same time it takes extensive knowledge and multidisciplinary approach to this issue in order to take advantage of this technology, and to avoid negative consequences.
Methods of resolving ethical issues of biotechnology:
1. We need to understand what might be called the nature of genes and their origins, evolution, and their role in the shaping of different organisms
2. Until we understand well the size and role of genetic exchange between different types of materials we should not experiment with transgenic organisms
3. We must bear in mind that the largest number of phenotype properties of humans by which people differ, result from the large number of genes and environmental factors
4. Information related to the genetics should exclusively be used to allow each person to make a personal decision about life style.
5. The creation of biological weapons should be completely banned
6. Genetic diversity of species on Earth is one of the main resources of our planet and it is of the greatest interest to preserve that diversity.
The development of biotechnology has enabled access to genetic information stored in chromosomes and opened the way for a new development. Products obtained by using biotechnology have the potential to positively affect the environment and to change human society. On the other hand, there is much still unknown and the possibility of misuse of scientific discoveries and unpredictable consequences of scientific research are reality. It is impossible to rule out the occurrence of bioterrorism. Therefore, the development of biotechnology brings up many unresolved issues, the questions of intellectual property and legal issues.
Many predict that, over the next decade, thanks to genome sequencing operations in the developed countries, scientific development will direct towards biotechnology, while the Internet and information technology are to be suppressed from today’s leading positions.
Making diagrams of the human genome is considered by many to be the greatest scientific achievement of the twentieth century. Reading of the genome will open new areas in the field of science and medicine, but will also lead to major changes in the sphere of industry, economy and other sciences as well as in the way of thinking about the world and nature. Directed manipulation with genetic material has become a reality, and studies have begun to direct to the developing of more sophisticated instruments and methods.
So we are left to hope and to make an effort for the benefits of biotechnology to overcome the disadvantages, and to contribute to the development of the mankind.
(Posted on behalf of Sasa)
RE: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - RossTaylor2440 - 12-19-2012
As for today it has become a personal and informed consumer choice to not purchase genetically modified foods. The main benefits of the biotechnology is increased food safety. "Feed the world", however currently the world produces 3000 calories for every person, so we don't need to produce more food but rather distribute it more efficiently. Risks of the biotechnology are Increased food allergens, Cross pollination, Possible altering a main food source inedible, Increased use of herbicides and insecticides by industrial agriculture
RE: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - debram - 09-19-2014
Genetically modified (GM) foods are those produced from organisms with modified genetic material (DNA) e.g. through the insertion of a gene from another organism. Most of the currently available GM foods are derived from plants, with possibility of GM food production from GM animals or microorganisms in the near future. Ensuring an adequate supply of food for the booming population of today’s world will be a major challenge in years to come. The introduction of GM foods can meet the need of proper a surplus food supply in a quite a number of ways as follows:
Pest resistance: Crop damage from insect pests is a devastating loss for farmers also resulting in starvation in developing countries. Tons of chemical pesticides are applied to the crop fields annually, which the consumers do not wish to eat because of potential risks to health. Production of GM foods such as Bt corn help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market.
Herbicide tolerance: Large quantities of various types of herbicide or weed-killer are sprayed to destroy weeds. This is an expensive process that requires careful handling so as to protect the crops and environment from the harmful effects of herbicides. Genetically modified crop plants should be synthesized in a way to be resistant to one or more harmful herbicides could protect the environment by minimizing the quantity of herbicides applied. As, for example, a strain of genetically modified soybeans has been developed by Monsanto that is not damaged by the herbicide product. When grown these soybeans only require a single application of the required herbicide instead of a number of applications, thereby reducing cost of production and reducing the dangers of environmental damage.
Cold tolerance: Extreme cold can destroy some crop plants. A gene from cold water fish has been inserted into certain plants such as potato and tobacco that are capable of tolerating frost.
Drought tolerance/salinity tolerance: As the world population grows and more land are utilized for housing instead of food production, farmers will need to grow crops in locations previously unsuited for plant cultivation. Creating plants that can withstand long periods of drought or high salt content in soil and groundwater will help people to grow crops in formerly inhospitable places.
Nutrition: People in third world countries rely mainly on one crop plant such as rice as the main staple food. But rice lacks adequate amounts of all the necessary nutrients. A new strain of of "golden" rice has been developed by the researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Institute for Plant Sciences with an unusually high beta-carotene (vitamin A).
Pharmaceuticals: Certain drugs and vaccines are often costly to manufacture and also require special storage facilities quite unavailable in third world countries. Research is being carried out to develop edible vaccines in plants such as tomatoes and potatoes which will be much easier to store and administer as compared to the traditional vaccines that are injected.
RE: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - debram - 09-23-2014
Let us have an insight on the role of biotechnology in the agricultural sector. Improvement of important crops can be achieved using the biotechnological tools like tissue culture techniques, genetic engineered seeds and molecular biological techniques. Using biotechnological approaches not only overall yield, nutritive values of the product gets improved, but crop variant resistant to abiotic and biotic stress can also be produced (draught, pests and disease resistant). Thus, overall biotechnology not only helps in producing better crops, but also helps in reducing toxic chemicals in the form of pesticides and fertilizers. So, environmental pollution, including soil, air and water get reduced with the help of biotechnological approach.
But there are also many potential risks involved in using biotechnology in agriculture for both human health and the environment. Often genetically modified crops produce new proteins which may pose as an allergen to certain human population. It is still not entirely possible to monitor the insertion of new genes to a particular position of DNA, thus formation of new protein and subsequent allergen to the food chain remains a worry.
Use of antibiotic resistant genes as markers often results in the incorporation of these markers to the human pathogens after consumption of these foods and thus making the pathogen resistant to the antibiotics. Wrong insertion of the desired gene may interfere with many important existing pathways of the plant.
Moreover, we still do not know the consequence of these gene incorporations as a long term effect on human health. So, proper caution should always advisable before consumption of GMF.
Regarding environmental concerns one should seriously consider the potential of production of herbicide resistant weeds due to biotechnological approach in the same field where the desired crops are produced. Similarly, wild herbs and pests may get added advantage over the desired crops and pose a serious threat to the environment. The toxic new proteins which are a threat to human population can have a similar effect to wildlife consuming the plants. Even development of a new strain of microorganisms and viruses is possible due to genetically modified crop production.
Though there are many advantages of using biotechnology in agriculture sector, there are still a lot of potential threats which may pose as major disadvantages of using biotechnology in agriculture. The approach is still in its early stages and scientists have to go a long way to make this a complete success. The consumer awareness will also prove to be a decisive factor in making the biotechnological approach a success in agricultural sector.
RE: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - Lina001 - 10-21-2014
Biotechnology is essentially the use of technology to make biological processes benifit mankind. Advantages include:
1-The design of diagnostic kits
2-The creation of genome analysis tools through bioinformatics
3-Genetic engineering techniques to improve food crops
4-Molecular biology method to help understand the nature of diseases
5-Finding targets for drugs
RE: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - WillHolt - 01-14-2015
The term molecular pharming or simply pharming refers to the use of genetic engineering to insert genes that code for useful pharmaceuticals into host animals or plants that would otherwise not express those genes, thus creating a genetically modified organism (GMO). This method has also been used to produce useful products in the pharmaceutical industries to produce a number of therapies to different diseases. Unlike the usual genetic engineering processes, this method is considered less demanding in terms of infrastructure and costs. In the 21st century, Proof of concept has been established for the production of many therapeutic proteins, including antibodies, blood products, cytokines, growth factors, hormones, recombinant enzymes and human and veterinary vaccines through pharming. In February 2009 the United States FDA granted marketing approval for the first drug to be produced in genetically modified livestock. The drug is called ATryn, which is an antithrombin protein purified from the milk of genetically modified goats. Additionally, a most recent treatment for Gaucher’s disease has been approved. This drug is produced in cultured transgenic carrots and tobacco cells.
RE: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - Linna001 - 01-18-2015
There are so many benefits of biotechnology. Nowadays it is using in different fields.Biotechnology is broken down into four main areas: red biotechnology is applied to the medical field, green biotechnology is applied to agriculture, white biotechnology is in the industrial field and blue refers to the aquatic field.
RE: Benefits and Risks of Biotechnology - lisa duva - 09-28-2015
Biotechnology have many benefits in many field.Also have risks,can u tell me risk of biotechnology in different fields like medicine,agriculture,industries and aquatic