Q: Is genetic engineering safe?

Posted:  02 October 2012 (updated: 19 December 2017 @ 18:10) by Jason Remfrey

Referring to a media report today, the article begins with:

Low allergy milk ‘frightening’ – GE Free

GE Free New Zealand is strongly opposing AgResearch’s use of genetic modification in pursuit of allergen-free milk for children.

Crown research institute AgResearch has announced a world-first breakthrough in genetic modification research, with the goal of producing hypoallergenic (low allergy) milk.

It has bred a genetically modified cloned calf producing milk in early trials with greatly reduced amounts of a protein known as beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), believed to be the leading cause of milk allergies in children.

The 11-month-old calf, Daisy, is in containment at AgResearch’s Ruakura site in Hamilton.  She has a mysterious missing tail which AgResearch expects to know the cause of in a couple of weeks but believes is not linked to genetic modification.

GE Free New Zealand president [Name] said cows without the protein BLG was a “frightening development not a breakthrough”.

My thoughts

Does anyone truly know the impact of genetic engineering?  I have heard stories of scientists changing broccoli to a colour like pink or blue to encourage children to eat it.  Genetic engineering (not to be confused with genetic testing) goes completely against what I feel is right…

If a genetic change was made, say to a vegetable or plant, or to an animal as in the example above, and no immediate ill-effects were visible, would there be a problem?  However, fast forward 500 or even just 100 years, and would there still be “no problem”?  Who is to say?  Would anyone know?  Are the signs already there?

Future generations may well pay a high price for the short-sighted meddling of Mother Nature, as man seeks to do what man wants, ignoring the common-sense dictum “why change what has slowly and beautifully developed and evolved over millions of years”, ignoring the truth that it is God who manages Creation, not mankind.

Often it is good to think differently and explore new ideas, but I feel this is not one of those cases.  I feel it is better to deal with problems socially and spiritually, wherever possible, rather than in this case changing the physical structure of life itself.  Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease, and from what I have understood, profit is a significant motive.

Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done.

Again, the impact of a change now may not be recognised for decades, and by then, those responsible will be long gone.  The risk is too great, and it really comes down to the meddling of those who do not appreciate the value of life as much as others, as it has been created and managed by God Himself.

Thank you for listening,

Jason

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