What are 5 benefits and 5 concerns regarding genetic engineering and biotechnology?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some of the benefits of genetic engineering and biotechnology are:

  • Higher crop productivity: High-yielding, insect-resistant crops are possible as a result of genetic engineering. The green revolution has transformed several developing and under-developed countries in terms of food dependency and economy. 
  • Higher cattle yield: This results in more milk, meat, and better nutrition. The term white revolution is used for higher milk productivity in India by higher-yielding hybrid cattle, made possible by genetic engineering.
  • Better medicinal facility: Genetic engineering has been used to develop new medicines, e.g., insulin, etc.
  • Forensics: DNA fingerprinting is used for criminal identification.
  • Cloning and stem cell research: The regeneration of organs and cells is possible as a result of genetic engineering and biotechnology.

The detrimental concerns associated with genetic engineering and biotechnology include:

  1. Ethical issues with cloning: Issues with possible human cloning have been raised.
  2. Ethical and social issues with crops: Genetically modified crops, esp. the ones that do not yield seeds, are a subject of concern in a number of countries as they make the farmers dependent on the companies for seeds.
  3. Accidental release of transgenic organisms could be a potential issue due to competition with native species.
  4. Potential unknown (long-term) effects of genetically modified crops and animals on the ecosystem.
  5. Effects of modified crops and animals on human beings are not yet known. 

Hope this helps.

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