QDavid Suzuki says that we dont know the unintended consequences at the molecular level of genetic engineering. He uses the analogy of taking Mick Jagger and putting him in with a symphony orchestra and saying Now, make music. He say that the context of a

David Suzuki says that we dont know the unintended consequences at the molecular level of genetic engineering. He uses the analogy of taking Mick Jagger and putting him in with a symphony orchestra and saying Now, make music. He say that the context of a gene is the genome, and we simply dont know enough now to be able to anticipate all of the consequences of GM. What is your response to this argument?

AExpert Answer

Genes — portions of the chemical abbreviated as DNA — have been moved around from one species to another by humans since the 1970s, and by Mother Nature for eons. In every case, the anticipated outcome has been realized. For example, humans have been moving the gene for insulin from humans to bacteria for almost half a century (and now provide insulin for almost all insulin-dependent diabetics). In every case, the recipient bacteria “read” the human insulin gene recipe and make human insulin. They never make anything else from the human insulin recipe, just insulin. When the exercise fails, it fails because the bacteria produce either no insulin or too little insulin to be of use, but the genetically engineered bacteria have never made something other than human insulin. This history of success is also true with plants; genetic engineering of genes into plants has never resulted in the recipient plant’s producing something other than what the gene recipe coded for in the original host. The gene may not work at all, or it may not express enough of the new protein to be useful, but it has never produced something unexpected, something other than what the transferred gene coded for. In the early days of genetic technology, especially in the 1970s, when Dr. Suzuki still worked in a lab, some critics (including Dr. Suzuki) worried that a transferred gene might result in something other than the expected outcome, either because the recipient species used a different DNA code or because of some unspecified locus, or “position effect,” and proximity to other genes in the recipient. But in all of the genetic engineering done to date, starting with the most diverse transfer imaginable (from a human to a bacterium), such an unexpected outcome has never happened.
 

Posted on August 15, 2017
No! However, poor nutrition coupled with highly processed foods and a lack of education regarding healthy eating is bad for our kids. As a mother and farmer, I believe the best way to keep my family safe and healthy is to make sure they eat a balanced diet and make good food choices daily. Fresh, healthy ingredients and minimally processed foods that are low in sugar, salt, calories and cholesterol provide kids with the best opportunity for a healthy diet. Agricultural biotechnology... Read More
Answer:
Posted on August 15, 2017
The first use of recombinant DNA technology, was created by Cohen and Boyer in 1972 with E.coli in 1972 and this article explains this advancement in biotechnology in greater detail. Here is an excerpt: “Their experiments dramatically demonstrated the potential impact of DNA recombinant engineering on medicine and pharmacology, industry and agriculture.”   Recombinant insulin was the first commercial product derived from genetic engineering techniques created in 1976 by the... Read More
Posted on May 6, 2017
A gene with a desirable trait can be moved from one organism to another organism as a means to change it. The traditional way is through selective breeding, which is slow, time consuming, inefficient, and transfers more than one gene, so other unexpected and unwanted traits can cause problems. But genes also can be moved in a laboratory, resulting in what has been called a genetically modified (“transgenic”) organism (GMO). GM technology moves only one gene, eliminating other,... Read More
Answer:

Explore More Topics