There are several advantages and disadvantages of genetically modifying organisms. This has become a great debate in the world today which many scientists and ethicists have not fully discussed. One of the major topics of discussion in genetic engineering is what is cloned. Many people may see the benefits that come about with cloning of plants and animals but not with cloning of humans (Hara, 2008).
Cloning of plants has become a common feature in the agricultural economy today. For example, cloning is taken to be advantageous because it helps in production of plants that are disease resistant (Levin, 2009). Cloning has also been associated with the reproduction of plants that are more nutritional to help address world issues such as hunger. In addition, genetically modified plants are predictable and can be easily monitored to help cut the cost of farming as it is today in many developing and undeveloped countries. Again, plants that are getting extinct can be cloned to save their generation (Levin, 2009). However, cloning can also be disadvantageous to the entire world economy and food security. For example, if all the rice in a country is cloned, it will eventually have the same DNA. This gives it a risk of extinction should a disease hit the crop and completely destroy it leaving no other DNA for rice in the country. The country will finally lack rice and this can lead to severe food shortage (Haran, 2008).
Similar advantages apply to genetic modification of animals specifically meant for food. Animals that do not produce well with changing environmental conditions can be saved through cloning. The need for cloning is therefore feared as much as it is celebrated today. Fully modifying the genetic composition of a plant or animal can lead to eventual loss of the required DNA diversity (Levin, 2009). The availability of this needed DNA diversity helps in ensuring sustainability of the future especially when unexpected things happen such as disease out brake. Furthermore, scientists are not in position to predict development of viruses or other disease causing microorganisms that a cloned animal, may react to in future. Genetic modification can underestimate the chances of genetic differences in the future in unpredictable situations (Levin, 2009).
Cloning of Human beings
Genetically modifying the human gene is most debatable. Its advantages and disadvantages are more complex (Haran, 2008). There are potential advantages of cloning in human beings. For example, it helps a great deal when cloning vital body parts that are to undergo transplant. This can help to reduce chances of organ rejection. It is believed that people who can not reproduce can use cloning to get children (Haran, 2008). Those who also lose children while very young can also use cloning to get children and have them sustained. On the other hand, cloning has its negative sides too. Methods of cloning may involve things such as fertilizing the embryos; this is considered to be morally disgusting by many religious groups (Haran, 2008). Some feel genetically modifying human genes is taking the place of God. The greatest fear would be if scientists would modify a super human being as they are doing to plants and animals. This would mean the ordinary man not genetically modified would lose ground (Haran, 2008).
Apart from the adverse effects that can come as a result of genetic modification of humans and the cost, cloning humans is very unethical; this is my position. The issue of genetic diversity is of great importance and it therefore begs the question, “Would cloning add or eliminate agene in human that seems more important or less important?” In conclusion, this discussion will continue in the minds of many people with conflicts of which best way to follow. Some already exist and more is to come as technology continues to improve however much I don’t support it.