Second are potential benefits to the environment including Improved

Second are potential benefits to the environment

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Second are potential benefits to the environment including: Improved productively could result in more food from less land and a decreasing reliance on the cultivation of marginal land. Genetically engineered pest and disease resistance could reduce the need for pesticides and other chemicals, thereby decreasing the environmental load and farmer exposure to toxins. The potential longer shelf life of fruits and vegetables could decrease the gross wastage associated with transportation and storage.
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Third are potential benefits to human health and wellbeing. Genetic engineering could be used to remove genes associated with allergies, e.g., the blocking of the gene that produces the allergenic protein in peanuts. The insertion of genes into crops such as rice and wheat can enhance their nutritional value, e.g., Golden Rice. Genetic modification could be used to produce healthier foods, e.g., by eliminating trans fats or caffeine for example. Genetic engineering could be used to develop pharmaceuticals and vaccines in plants, decreasing the risk of adverse reactions and enabling faster vaccination of large populations.
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Although weighing risks and benefits is necessary, it is neither easy nor the sole concern in considering the ethics of agricultural biotechnology. Certainly, both human wellbeing and environmental safety are of primary concern; but our ethical obligations are not discharged solely by a guarantee of some degree of protection from harm, as important as that is. We also must be concerned with justice and the common good—raising concerns about human and environmental sustainability and the just distribution of nutritious food and acknowledging the need for thoughtful regulation that addresses necessary human and environmental protections while pursuing benefit.
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And so, we approach the "future of food" and the questions we have before us today: Should we have genetically modified foods? And, since we do, how ought they be regulated? How do we weigh values and risk in biotechnology? And, finally, is the genetic modification of food necessary to relieve world hunger?
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  • Spring '14
  • BVERGARA
  • Genetically modified organism

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