Hoza  biotechnology safety lecture
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Hoza biotechnology safety lecture Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Genetic modification of animals: applications and issues HOZA. A.S
  • 2. • Safety/risk – What are the long/short-term effects? – Environmental impact • Distributive justice – Who benefits? • Animal welfare – Is the animal harmed? • Spurious/religious concerns – Are we “devaluing” life? Playing God? Biotechnology
  • 3. Level of trust in scientists
    • Scientific omnipotence
    • – “ Trust us” approach is no longer effective
    • – Scientists’ failure to communicate with the public
    • – Scientists’ ties to biotech companies
        • Belief that some are just servants of big business
        • Can these scientists be trusted to make impartial decisions/statements?
    • – Scientists’ assessments of risk
  • 4. Growth promoters
  • 5. Ethical questions arising from use of growth promoters
    • • Health risks to humans?
    • – Is milk from rBST-supplemented cows safe for human consumption?
    • – Is there increased risk for developing allergies from rBST milk?
    • – Should rBST milk be labeled?
    • • Animal welfare
    • – Are cows injected with rBST harmed?
    • • Reports of increased mastitis, decreased conception rates, inflammation from repeated injections, arthritis, lameness
  • 6.
    • Transgenic and Cloning
  • 7. Ethical issues in livestock cloning
    • • Animal welfare
    • • Social benefits
    • • Impact of animal cloning on human cloning issues
    • • Market structure to protect individual choice
  • 8. Welfare issues related to transgenics and cloning
    • • Technology isn’t perfected yet
      • – Very low success rate
      • – High mortality rates
    • • What happens to animals born without transgene?
    • • Suffering of transgenic animals
      • – Case of Beltsville pigs (human GH introduced)
      • • High mortality, arthritis, gastric ulcers, degenerative joint disease, infection, lethargy
    • • Cloned animals
    • – Shortened life spans, health problems
  • 9. Risks associated with transgenics and cloning
    • • Risks; product safety for humans and animals (e.g allergies, zoonoses,)
  • 10. Consumption of animal products from cloned vs. transgenic animals
    • • A report to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August distinguished between cloned and transgenic animals
    • – Cloned animals probably safe to raise and eat
    • • Labeling issues arise
    • – Transgenic ones may not be safe to consume
  • 11.  
  • 12. TRANSGENIC ETHICS
    • Animal Rights Versus Animal Welfare
    • Right to meddle in the genomes of living beings
      • Transgenesis- a logical step beyond selective breeding,
        • open doors past what we previously have known to cure diseases!!??
        • possibly end world hunger entirely!!!??
    • Transgenic Art - Creating monsters!!! E.g “Alba,” the rabbit that glows under UV light!!!!???
  • 13. Eduardo “transgenic art.” refers to animals and plants with a planned genome intended to express an artistic idea symbolized by the proteins they code for.
  • 14.
    • 4. Animal Death Versus Human Lives Saved
        • low success rate in creating transgenic animals.
    • 5. Transgenic Animals and the Environment
      • decrease of genetic variability within that species
      • Transgenic animals are not “more fit” than their “normal” cousins.
    • 6. Transgenic Oversight
      • Transgenic experimentation should be as humane as possible.
    7. Religions and Transgenic Ethics TRANSGENIC ETHICS
  • 15. Ethical issues arising from the consumption of cloned animal products
    • • Milk has enormous cultural symbolic value.
    • This is the first primordial food that people eat, and we don't like people messing with it," said Paul Wolpe, a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics.
    • "There has not yet been a single cloned mammal that has yet been alive long enough to have lived out a natural life span for that animal.
    • We can't underestimate the unanswered questions about cloning."
  • 16. Concerns about animal biotechnology applications
    • • Environmental impact : GE organisms escaping/ reproducing
    • • Probability (small) of allergic responses to new proteins
    • • Animal welfare problems
      • – ⇑ birth weights, longer gestation periods, difficult births in clones
      • – Poor survival rate of fetuses using some techniques
      • – Anatomical, physiological, behavioral abnormalities
  • 17. Distributive justice
    • • Distribution of risks and benefits
    • • Equal distribution of welfare
      • – Not just how much good is done but how that good is distributed in society
  • 18. Distributive justice
    • • rBST
      • – Idea that small dairies would be even more disadvantaged than large commercial dairies
      • – Potential for biotech to contribute to demise of small farms
        • • Loss of choices in products offered
    • • Biomedical applications
      • – Who pays for research?
      • – Who benefits? Only the wealthy who can afford new technologies?
      • – Widening the gap between rich and poor
  • 19. Religious and Moral Concerns associated with Transgenics and Cloning
    • • Devaluing of life
    • • “ Playing God”
    • • Implications for applicationof technologies to humans
    • • Unnatural” exchange of genetic material
  • 20. Moral concerns ⇒ welfare issues
    • • Time factor
    • – mistakes can occur more rapidly with GE than conventional methods of animal selection (e.g. selective breeding)
    • – loss of incremental steps ⇒ lose ability to evaluate results at each step
      • e.g. traditional breeding allows time for evaluation, correction, reversal
  • 21. Moral concerns ⇒ ecological issues
    • • Ecosystem concerns
    • – Impact on genetic diversity
    • • what might be the impact of limited gene pools on livestock faced with new (deadly) pathogens?
    • – what might be the impact of GE animals on fragile ecosystems?
    • • habitat preservation issues for wild animals
    • – What if GE organisms escape and reproduce?
    • • Loss of genetic diversity, unbalanced ecosystems
  • 22. Implications for human applications
    • • Impact of genetic engineering of animals (especially cloning) on human cloning
    • • Slippery slope
  • 23.  
  • 24.  
  • 25.
    • Biotechnology and law:
    • Are we prepared for societal and legal issues?
  • 26. Who “owns” the technology?
  • 27. Animal biotechnology and law
    • • Decision-making processes are unclear with new technologies
    • • Legislation on animal biotechnology
      • – Who advises politicians, especially regarding nature of risks?
        • • Commissions, advisory boards comprised of practicing scientists, lawyers, sociologists concerned individuals, religious bodies…..
  • 28. Animal biotechnology and law
    • • “ Any food system practice that does not allow individuals who do not want to consume meat or milk from clones to act upon their values at a reasonable cost is ethically unacceptable and ought to be illegal.” (Thompson, 1997)
    • • Lack of controls to prevent GE animals from entering the food chain (e.g., cows that produce drugs in their milk)
      • – One reported instance of meat from GE animals used in a food product
  • 29. Public education: ethics of implementing biotechnology without public understanding or consent
  • 30. Responsibility to the public: education
    • • Is it morally responsible to implement technologies that impact the public while excluding them from decision-making?
      • – Need for public education to facilitate understanding & discussion of biotech
      • – Need for informed consent
      • – Foisting of technology is wrong, not technology itself (Thompson, 1997)
  • 31. Conflicts of Interest
  • 32. Conflicts of Interest (Hodges, 2000)
    • • Biotechnology companies’ investments in research and development
      • – Usually patent techniques and are eager to market them
      • – May create artificial “needs”
      • – May pressure governments to act in their best interests
      • – Governments may pressure scientists to be definitive about risks
      • – Self serving--huge markets benefiting pharmaceuticals
      • – “ Might doesn’t make right”; “Ends don’t justify means”
  • 33. Conflicts of Interest (Hodges, 2000)
    • • “ Politicians do not like probabilities
    • • “ Scientists do not like ethics”
    • • “ Consumers and users do not like risk”
    • • “ Business does not like waiting”
    • Can these conflicts be resolved?
    • – How?
  • 34. Need for scientists to integrate ethical analysis into the scientific process
      • • “ Allowing a contentious technology such as human cloning to become feasible through technical means alone, without legal, social and ethical reviews, is inconsistent with democratic values” (Thompson, 1999)