Playing God? Does Genetic engineering endanger our human Rights?

Human Rights? As simply defined by Merrium-Webster, "rights regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons." The first thing that comes to many minds when they hear this word is political and social isuues such as women rights and even immigration. But Human Rights extends far beyond those thing, the humans rights that are truly in danger are our rights to simply be humans. Today genetic Engineering and Modification not only account for 90% of Corn, Tobbaco, and soy crops, But also have been proven to have the ability to rearrange human genomes.

This Video linked above gives an illustrated and detailed picture of the process and the science behind this new technowlody. Many believe this tech is on the way soon, some excited for the future, many afraid. Many think it is wrong to treat humans like a video game, some even calling these products, "Designer Babies." Many of the scientist heavily involved in this process even begin to worry. For instance,“Human genome editing holds tremendous promise for understanding, treating, or preventing many devastating genetic diseases, and for improving treatment of many other illnesses. . . . However, genome editing to enhance traits or abilities beyond ordinary health raises concerns about whether the benefits can outweigh the risks, and about fairness if available only to some people,” explained Alta Charo, co-chair of the study committee and Sheldon B. Lubar Distinguished Chair and Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

History of Genetic Engineering

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (1993), underlines the importance of conserving biodiversity, including human genetic diversity and human rights. Another large yet early milestone for this era was Dolly the sheep. The announcement in 1997 was followed by an intense public debate that were followed by fear of Human cloning and Eugenics. To produce Dolly, scientists used an udder cell from a six-year-old Finn Dorset white sheep. Then they injected the cell into an unfertilised egg cell which had had its nucleus removed, and made the cells fuse by using electrical pulses. The unfertilised egg cell came from a Scottish ewe. When the research team had managed to fuse the nucleus from the adult white sheep cell with the egg cell from the black-faced sheep. They cultured it for six or seven days to see if it divided and developed normally, before implanting it into a surrogate mother. 277 cell fusions, 29 early embryos developed and were implanted into 13 surrogate mothers. One pregnancy went to full term, and the 6.6 kg Finn Dorset lamb 6LLS was born after 148 days of trying.

Genetically engineered corn from 2000-2013

While this process in Humans might be on the horizon. Its already here in agriculture, and rapidly on the rise too (As seen in the graph above). This being a very controversial topic aswel, there are many pros as well as many cons.

First and foremost, a lot of uncertainty surrounds modification in crops as we have no clue of the long term health risks due to the fact that this technology is fairly new. Another major concern is not only our consumption but Animals and environmental risks. For example, Many GE (Genetic Engineered) Crops can send harmful toxins to other non-GE crops causing growths of weeds which has increased the herbicide use. And as a result of this increase they have accidentally created "Superweeds" which are restisatent to Herbicide use.

In the end, Biotech could go south very fast. With so many risks involved, after weighing the pros and cons, is it really worth it? Bowden says that instead of allowing individual labs and governments to make decisions—like the way GMOs have developed—one of the core principles of genetic tinkering moving forward should be a public, collaborative atmosphere, where decisions are made by experts. When it comes to this topic, the future is uncertain and somewhat gloom. In my opinion, this violates our human rights, the rights given to us by God, the creator of man who set us all apart in his image. Believer or not, we know in our hearts it's not right and in many cases a risk that not neccasary to take.

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