The Negative Effects of Genetic Engineering

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DNA coding is an integral part of genetic engineering.
DNA coding is an integral part of genetic engineering. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Genetic is the study of genes, DNA and cellular makeups. Genetic engineering is a field that uses technology to study and alter genes, DNA coding and cells. This form of technology aims to create enhanced, manipulated and new organisms. Today, plants and animals are the main subjects of genetic engineers, though they are also studying human beings.

Mutations

Because genetic engineering is not yet a stable science, the outcomes of the alterations can only be predicted. There are still possibilities that the genetic alterations, overtime, may result in mutations. The mutated plants and animals, if ingested by humans, may prove toxic. In human stem cell research, mutations may also occur which may even turn the stem cells into tumors, increasing the chances of cancer.

Nutrition

Plants and other genetically engineered organisms, if meant to be consumed by humans, may not contain the nutritional value that they did before being altered. For example, an altered vegetable may appear to be ripe and healthy at the time of consumption because it is engineered to appear fresh. However, that vegetable may actually be over-ripened and all of its nutrients may already be depleted.

More Stem Cell Issues

Human embryonic stem cells are produced through genetic engineering. Besides mutated tumors, stem cells, after transplantation, may undergo differentiation. This means that they will take on roles that they were not intended to fill. If this occurs, the host body may reject the differentiated. The immune system of the host will attack the cells and cause damage to the cells and to the body.

Herbicides and Pesticides

Because many fruits and vegetables are genetically altered to resist the effects of herbicides, farmers and other manufacturers may increase their usage of chemicals. Some of the chemicals used to deter pests and weeds are not healthy for the environment and may cause unplanned repercussions. Also, herbicides and pesticides may mix with the water and soil near plantations and farms and may pollute produce and water that are not resistant to such chemicals.

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