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Ethical issues in animal biotechnology

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Ethical issues in animal biotechnology

  1. 1. Ethical Issues in Animal Biotechnology
  2. 2. Contents • We should not be “Playing God” • Genetic modification breakdown natural specie boundary • Animal welfare • Environmental effects of animal biotechnology • Extrinsic concerns of animal biotechnology • Human cloning ethical issues
  3. 3. What is Ethics? Ethics is a system of moral principles. Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. Ethical problems involve: 1. Conflict. 2. Choosing between equally desirable or undesirable alternatives. 3. Balancing options. Ethics is concerned about what should be considered right and wrong.
  4. 4. Categories of Ethical issues: The ethical issues associated with transgenic animals and mammalian cloning fit into three broad categories. 1. First are issues that pertain to the impact of this technology on the animals themselves. 2. Second are issues that relate to the institutions and procedures that govern the research and applications context within the agrifood system. 3. Finally there are issues that relate to the relationship between humans and other animals.
  5. 5. Genetic modification Genetic modification covers two types of activities: 1. Altering the genes normally present in an individual in such a way that the alteration is passed on to (at least some of) its descendants. 2. Transferring a gene or genes from one individual to another of the same species or of a different species.  Genetic modification of animals was first achieved with mice in 1980, and of cattle, sheep and pigs by about 1985a different species.
  6. 6. Why Genetically Modified Animals are produced ? 1. To help scientists to identify, isolate and characterize genes in order to understand more about their function and regulation. 2. To provide research models of human diseases, to help develop new drugs and new strategies for repairing defective genes (“gene therapy”). 3. To provide organs and tissues for use in human transplant surgery. 4. To produce milk which contains therapeutic proteins; or to alter the composition of the milk to improve its nutritional value for human infants. 5. To enhance livestock improvement programs.
  7. 7. Religious concerns: Transgenic animals can create particular problems for some religious groups. For Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus it would be forbidden to eat foods containing genetic material from animals whose flesh is forbidden. Such religious requirements raise fundamental questions about the identity of animals and its genetic basis.
  8. 8. If, for example, a small amount of genetic material from a fish is introduced into a melon (in order to allow it to grow in lower temperatures), does that melon become “fishy” ? e.g. Insulin was first obtained from pigs. God has created a perfect natural order for people to attempt to “improve” that order by manipulating DNA, the basic ingredient of all life, and in some cases crossing species boundaries instituted by God, is not merely presumptuous but sinful.
  9. 9. The essence of this concern is that modern biotechnology is trying to “displace the first Creator” or to “play God”.
  10. 10. Sentiency The capacity to experience pain and pleasure. It is an important issue having many arguments of different philosophers Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher said that: “if a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into account.”
  11. 11. Other Issues:  Concerns that animal biotechnology might narrow the gene pool reduce genetic diversity Concerns that animals engineered in biomedical research to be models of human diseases might escape and infect the human (and animal) population might generate new and more resistant strains of the disease.
  12. 12. Genetic modification breakdown natural specie boundary
  13. 13. Genetic modification • Genetic engineering of plants and animals is one of the greatest and environment challange of the 21st century. • Making more quantity and better quality of food from this technology is also known as genetically modified oragnisms. • Now a days our groceries and markets are full of genetically modified organisms and food whih altering our nature and some imporatnt staple food respectively.
  14. 14. Argument • Genetic modification breaks down the natural order of species. • By genetic engineering all species boundaries are crossed, tampering with nature, appears as hubristic interference which is ethically wrong. • Government should apply the laws that ingredients must be labelled with GMO’s and non.GMO’s beacuse consumers have the right to choose their desirable food.
  15. 15. Argument facing two difficulties • 1st what is meant by being natural or unnatural? • 2nd what is good about being natural and being unnatural?
  16. 16. • It is clear that a large part of our food production represents some form of unnatural element in nature. • All types of domestic species and many agricultural crops are the results of genetic engineering or selective breeding. • Most of the nature surrounding our cities has been shaped by human intervention and is far from being natural.
  17. 17. • The insertion of unrelated genes may change the entire direction of evolution and represent human goals rather than a natural development. • Against this view is the argument that species are never static because their genetic makeup changes over time. • It can also be claimed that species are not genetically isolated. • Genetic engineering and selective breeding are against to animal rights because they involve manipulating animals for human benefits.
  18. 18. Animal Welfare
  19. 19. DEFINITION • Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way. • Animal welfare refers to the relationships people have with animals and the duty they have to assure that the animals under their care are treated humanely and responsibly. • This includes proper housing, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care and proper handling. • the most controversy and debate regarding animal biotechnology surrounds the animals themselves. • The genetic engineering of animals has increased significantly in recent years, and the use of this technology brings with it ethical issues.
  20. 20. BACKGROUND • Despite its current popularity, interest in animal welfare is not a modern phenomenon. • Concern for animal care and wellbeing has existed since domestication, which occurred at least 10,000 years ago. • The modern animal rights movement (which began in the early 1970s) is composed largely of people from urban areas who are vegetarians. • In 1990, animal rights groups staged a “March for the Animals” rally in Washington, D.C. • In 1992, the Animal Enterprise Protection Act was passed to protect facilities (like farms, zoos, aquariums, circuses, rodeos, fairs) from intruders vandalizing such places or releasing animals from there.
  21. 21. ANIMAL WELFARE PRINCIPLES • Decisions regarding animal care, use, and welfare shall be made by balancing scientific knowledge. • Animals must be provided water, food, proper handling, health care, and an environment appropriate to their care and use. • Animals should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, stress, and suffering. • The veterinary profession shall continually strive to improve animal health and welfare through scientific research and education.
  22. 22. FIVE FREEDOMS The Five Freedoms is a widely cited animal welfare document both in Europe and in the United States. • Freedom from Hunger and Thirst. • Freedom from Discomfort. • Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease. • Freedom to Express Normal Behavior. • Freedom from Fear and Distress
  23. 23. CONCERNS • Some of the biotechnology techniques in use today are extremely inefficient at producing fetuses that survive. • Proteins designed to produce a pharmaceutical product in the animal’s milk might find their way to other parts of the animal’s body, possibly causing adverse effects. • Over 90% of the genetically engineered animals used in research and testing. • Interfering with the genome by inserting or removing fragments of DNA may result in alteration of the animal’s normal genetic homeostasis. For example early transgenic livestock.
  24. 24. CONCERNS • Studies have revealed that cloned mammals may suffer from developmental abnormalities, including extended gestation, large birth weight and effects in organs and tissues. • Genetic engineering also brings with it concerns over intellectual property, and patenting of created animals and/or the techniques used to create them. • Embryo collection and transfer present a range of animal welfare issues. Like in cattle genes can be given under epidural anesthesia, in non-surgical way. • It has been estimated that less than one percent of microinjected livestock embryos result in transgenic offspring. Even if an individual does express the transgene, it might not be transmitted to subsequent generations.
  25. 25. CONCERNS • Approximately 30 percent of transgenic mice are mosaics, which means that they carry the transgene in only some of their cells. • High rates of mosaicism are observed in other animals as well. • Mutations by inserted genes can be occur. • It has been estimated that 5 to 10 percent of established transgenic mice lines produced by microinjection have such mutations. • Example of welfare problems arising from inappropriate transgene expression is that of the so-called Beltsville pigs, salmonids transgenic for fish growth hormone,
  26. 26. • Gene insertion and removal also can have effects on behavior. For example, growth hormone constructs in fish have been found to affect swimming ability. • Some types of knockout mice also have been found to exhibit behavioral problems, such as increased aggressiveness.
  27. 27. BENEFITS OF ANIMAL WELFARE • Genetic engineering certainly has the potential to improve the welfare of farm animals. • Increasing resistance to disease and infection. • Improving disease resistance to decrease pain and suffering is an application of transgenic technology that has clear animal welfare benefits. • Removing horns which are removed because they cause injuries to humans and other cattle, with the help of single gene manipulation.
  28. 28. Environmental effects of animal biotechnology
  29. 29. INTRODUCTION • In an ecologic context, harm is defined as gene pool, species, or community perturbation resulting in negative impacts to community stability. • These include displacement or reduction in the number of species that exist in a community or numbers within each species • The hazard is the GE organism itself because it is the agent that might cause negative impacts to community stability.
  30. 30. ENVIROMENTAL EFFECTS The negative impacts might either be; • Direct e.g., resulting from direct competition for limited food or resources • Indirect Caused by changes in other biotic factors utilized or needed by the ecologic community.
  31. 31. CONTD... Environmental concerns posed by GE animals vary as they have unique genetic construct and are recievein different ecosystem. but following variables should be considered; • The effect of the transgene on the “fitness” of the animal within the ecosystem into which it is released. • The ability of the GE animal to escape and disperse into diverse communities. • The stability and resiliency of the receiving community.
  32. 32. EXAMPLE Potential environmental harm caused by genetically modifiy animal consider; e.g if transgenic salmon with genes engineered to accelerate growth were released into the natural environment, they could compete more successfully for food and mates than wild salmon. Thus, there also is concern that genetically engineered organisms will escape and reproduce in the natural environment. It is feared existing species could be eliminated, thus upsetting the natural balance of organisms.
  33. 33. FOOD SAFETY • Concerns surrounding the use of animal biotechnology include the unknown potential health effects to humans from food products created by transgenic animals. • The potential for new allergens to be expressed in the process of creating foods from genetically modified animals is a real and valid concern, because the process introduces new proteins. • While food allergens are not a new issue, the difficulty comes in how to anticipate these adequately, because they only can be detected once a person is exposed and experiences a reaction.
  34. 34. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS 1. Regulations • The regulation of animal biotechnology currently is performed under existing government agencies. • The main governing body for animal biotechnology and their products is the FDA. • Currently, the only genetically engineered animal on the market is the GloFish, a transgenic aquarium fish engineered to glow in the dark. It has not been subject to regulation by the FDA, however, because it is not believed to be a threat to the environment
  35. 35. 2. Labeling • The labeling of genetically engineered animals or its should be labeled is yet another controversy. As there are two contrasting views regarding this issue. • Those who favours the animal biotechnology products says that if the product is scientifically proven by FDA that its safe for human consumption and is similar to the product produce by coventional means then it should not be label that it is genetically engineered. • Other say that labelingis consumers 'right to know' issue. And they should have full information regarding the product including the process use in it production.
  36. 36. 3. Intellectual Property • On average, it takes seven to nine years and an investment of about $55 million to develop, test and market a new genetically engineered product. • all researchers are protecting their investments and through the patent system. • In 1988, the first patent was issued on a transgenic animal, a strain of laboratory mice whose cells were engineered to contain a cancer-predisposing gene. • Some people are opposed ethically to the patenting of life forms, because it makes organisms the property of companies.
  37. 37. RELIGIOUS ISSUES Religion plays a crucial part in the way some people view animal biotechnology. • For some people, these technologies are considered blasphemous. • As God has created a perfect, natural order and it is sinful to try to improve that order by manipulating the basic ingredient of all life,DNA. • If, for example, a small amount of genetic material from a fish is introduced into a melon (in order to allow it grow to in lower temperatures), does that melon become “fishy” ?? • Some would argue all organisms share common genetic material, so the melon would not contain any of the fish’s identity. • Others, however, believe the transferred genes are exactly what make the animal distinctive; therefore the melon would be forbidden to be eaten as well.
  38. 38. Extrinsic Concerns
  39. 39. Extrinsic Concerns of animal biotechnology • Any technology can, of course, be used for good or ill, but the possibility of abuse and potential for harm cannot rule out its legitimate use and potential for benefit. • The moral concerns here are difficult to assess because they must involve predictions about future states of affairs. • But predictions may be accurate or inaccurate, and no conclusive proof can ever be provided that a particular set of events will inevitably occur in the future. • Extrinsic concerns must therefore always be in this sense provisional: they carry weight only in proportion to the likelihood of the predicted consequences actually occurring.
  40. 40. Is Animal Biotechnology Risky?? • Riskiness is not in itself a moral or ethical matter. • Risk and safety become matters of moral concern only when they raise further questions about • responsibility and justifiability. • Any new technology is unpredictable, and it is this unpredictability which produces concerns about various risks. • One particular line of research is especially open to this charge, where genes whose function is unknown are “knocked out” in order that the results may be observed - e.g. on the immune system of mice.
  41. 41. A number of other concerns has been expressed and debated e.g. • Concerns about the speed with which animal biotechnology can effect changes in animals, compared with traditional selective breeding which allows changes to be observed and assessed over many generations. • Concerns that this “fast-lane” method of breeding food animals might produce unexpected and harmful results for those who eat foods derived from such animals. • Concerns that animal biotechnology might narrow the gene pool and reduce genetic diversity, so producing monocultures which could be vulnerable to new diseases or other environmental threats. • Concerns that organs from genetically modified animals might transmit viral diseases if used in human transplant surgery. • Concerns that animals engineered in biomedical research to be models of human diseases might escape and infect the human (and animal) population, or might generate new and more resistant strains of the disease.
  42. 42. Scientists and Controversies Many scientists would not share these concerns, and it must be emphasized that the magnitude of such risks. some of the risks envisaged here could be of such a catastrophic nature that no one would feel justified in turning a blind eye to them. No activity or process can ever be guaranteed to present no risk whatever and to be 100% “safe”, and animal biotechnology is no exception to this logical rule. One obvious ethical requirement here is a stringent system of risk assessment and regulation which ensures that no irresponsible risks are taken in the light of current knowledge, though it must be recognized that no such system can ever be foolproof.
  43. 43. Problems with Animals Critics of animal biotechnology claim that no benefits have resulted yet for the animals themselves from the new technologies and that there is evidence of actual harm being caused. The production of pharmaceutical proteins in animal milk might increase pressure to extend the length of lactation or the frequency of milking. Disease resistance is aimed mainly at diseases which are endemic to intensive farming methods, where animals and birds are highly vulnerable to infection. Increasing the productivity of food animals by genetic modification might also increase stress and performance-related diseases. Providing organs for transplants to humans will involve similar confinement and isolation in a clinical environment. The Government Advisory Report on the Ethics of Xenotransplantation (1997) accepted that pigs used for this purpose may be exposed to harm and suffering. Changes to the growth rate of the embryo may cause reproductive stress for the mother.
  44. 44. Onco-mouse The first creature ever to be (controversially) patented, which is genetically designed to develop cancer. The creation of this animal poses the question of whether an ethical distinction can and should be drawn between inducing cancer in a laboratory animal and genetically engineering an animal to develop cancer.
  45. 45. Animal Models Even more problematic than the oncoMouse, however, is the use of animals to model other human diseases. A number of devastating human genetic diseases (e.g. Lesch-Nyhan disease and HPRT deficiency), where animals are likely to be increasingly used as models, will need to keep those animals alive for as long as possible in order to study the full course of the disease.
  46. 46. Human cloning ethical issues
  47. 47. Dolly…! • Dolly was cloned in Scotland, United Kingdom on 5th July 1996 • it raises questions about the legitimacy of the sorts of control individuals and society can to exercise over something. • the idea of human cloning became a hot debate topic • a few scientists promised to make a clone within the next few years , many tried but not a complete human being is cloned . • In 2015 it was reported that about 70 countries had banned human cloning.
  48. 48. • Scientists claim that Human cloning evokes human dignity. • But how? If duplication of large portion of DNA invokes human dignity , is the natural dignity of identical twin is threatened by its sibling?
  49. 49. Instrumentalization • The idea of using individuals as a means to the purposes of others is termed "instrumentalization” • But if someone wants to have children to continue their genetic line… is it also instrumentalization? • using embryo splitting to allow genetic and other screening ,One embryo could be tested and then destroyed to confirm the health and genetic status of the remaining clones. It should also be considered as instrumentalization
  50. 50. • But still using a human being foe our good is unethical • If human cloning is allowed universally then people will clone themselves just for their own good e.g. blood transfusion, heart kidney or other organ transplantation.
  51. 51. • J.Harris claims in his article that “if it is right to use embryos for research or therapy then it is also right to produce them for therapeutic purposes.” • UNESCO states that “cloning affect the preservation of the human genome as common heritage of humanity” • But some scientists claim that Cloning cannot be said to impact on the variability of the human genome, it merely repeats one infinitely small part of it, a part that is repeated at a natural rate of about 3-5 per thousand births.
  52. 52. Genetic identity • European parliament states, that "each individual has a right to his or her own genetic identity". • Scientists claim that genetic clone of a person will just be same in their genetic makeup but they are born in separate time. • The further separated in time, the less likely they are to have similarities of character (the more different the environment, the more different environmental influence on individuality).
  53. 53. A right to parents • Every individual have "a right to have two parents” • The cloned twin would have no parent in society • But it could be a good option for adoption for the couples who have no babies
  54. 54. Immortality • It also arises the concept of immortality • If a person wants to have his genetic makeup immortal he can produce a clone of himself.

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