The ability to now modify the genetic makeup of an animal is an exciting development for science, and it demonstrates just how much has been achieved by scientists. While the general intention behind genetically modifying an animal is to remove diseases and make them healthier, there are some drawbacks to this practice.
What Are the Pros of Genetically Modifying Animals?
As already mentioned previously, genetic modification allows for the elimination of disease in animals. How genetic engineering has developed, has allowed genetic engineers to detect conditions before the animal is even born. Such early detection allows for those diseases to be cured before birth, paving the way for all animals to be born stronger and healthier.
There’s also a side of profitability to genetic modification of animals. For instance, it’s possible to genetically engineer a cow to produce more milk, or, livestock destined for the meat industry, can be modified to grow faster and to a larger size. This ability to control the amount of produce that can be made from animals, while also speeding up the time it takes to produce it, can bring in higher profit margins for the agricultural industry.
The Cons of Genetically Engineering Animals
Scientists know much about the animal body and how it works, but they don’t yet know everything. The safety behind modifying an animal at the cellular level is widely unknown, and there could be many risks to doing this that we are just unaware of at the moment. By eliminating a relatively minor disease, scientists could end up creating a much more dangerous one.
You also have to consider the moral dilemma of the genetic modification debate. The majority of scientists have noble intentions of eradicating the most serious of diseases, but at what point do we say something is too far, and what is to stop other scientists taking the research further? Much of this field is uncharted territory, with little still being known of the full consequences.
On the whole, while genetic modification can be a force for good and can help in the fight against deadly diseases, the field needs much consideration in terms of safety, ethics and at what point the research will stop.