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Hoza  biotechnology safety lecture

Hoza biotechnology safety lecture






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    Hoza  biotechnology safety lecture Hoza biotechnology safety lecture Presentation Transcript

    • Genetic modification of animals: applications and issues HOZA. A.S
    • • 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
    • 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
    • Growth promoters
    • 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
      • Transgenic and Cloning
    • Ethical issues in livestock cloning
      • • Animal welfare
      • • Social benefits
      • • Impact of animal cloning on human cloning issues
      • • Market structure to protect individual choice
    • 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
    • Risks associated with transgenics and cloning
      • • Risks; product safety for humans and animals (e.g allergies, zoonoses,)
    • 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
      • 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!!!!???
    • 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.
      • 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
    • 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."
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Implications for human applications
      • • Impact of genetic engineering of animals (especially cloning) on human cloning
      • • Slippery slope
      • Biotechnology and law:
      • Are we prepared for societal and legal issues?
    • Who “owns” the technology?
    • 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…..
    • 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
    • Public education: ethics of implementing biotechnology without public understanding or consent
    • 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)
    • Conflicts of Interest
    • 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”
    • 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?
    • 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)