Impacts of Biopharming

3388 Words May 28th, 2005 14 Pages
Food, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and insect control are among a few of the different avenues of Genetic Engineering (GE). One sad truth associated with genetic engineering is the lack of adequate testing to assure the health and well-being of society and the environment. The companies that hold the GE patents and our government seem to more concerned with profits, than that of human life and the effects on the environment. In this day and age, illnesses and other forms of aliments of our society are multiplying at alarming rates. Drug manufactures, in such a hurry to get their latest drugs to market, little, if any, testing is being done to assure that the drugs themselves are safe for human consumption. The risks of GE unknowns, far …show more content…
Any severe environmental stress such as drought and global warming can trigger unpredictable changes to engineered crops. It is this combination of unpredictability and ignorance that led Dr. Barry Commoner, one of our nation's most eminent biologists, to conclude:

"The genetically engineered crops now being grown represent a massive uncontrolled experiment whose outcome is inherently unpredictable. The results could be catastrophic." (Commoner)

Allergies are often overlooked, especially when weighed against the potential benefits of a new drug. Yet they affect a large number of people (about 2.5% of American adults and 6-8% of children, or 8 million in the U.S.), and the incidence of allergies has been rising in recent years for unknown reasons. Reactions are not limited to watery eyes; some experience intense itching and welts, others life-threatening anaphylactic shock, which kills an estimated 150 Americans each year. If a plant-grown drug with allergenic properties were to contaminate the food supply, unsuspecting individuals prone to allergies would be unable to take any action to avoid consuming the contaminated food, with potentially fatal consequences. People susceptible to food allergies, without proper labeling have no knowledge of what they are actually consuming; therefore, they could possibly be endangering their lives by eating foods that they are highly allergic to. The Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (1966), for

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