IGEM:Harvard/2010/Human Practices

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(Brainstorming)
(Brainstorming)
Line 4: Line 4:
*Safety
*Safety
**Whether GM foods safe for consumption (assumption that unnatural things are bad for you)
**Whether GM foods safe for consumption (assumption that unnatural things are bad for you)
 +
***-->are genetically engineered foods "unnatural"? How is synthetic biology different from "traditional" genetic engineering? How are molecular techniques different from "classical" plant breeding technologies? Is there a scale of "naturalness"?
**Danger of cross-contamination to other crops, spreading the foreign DNA constructs
**Danger of cross-contamination to other crops, spreading the foreign DNA constructs
*Legal - ownership of GM plants and sales (Monsato)
*Legal - ownership of GM plants and sales (Monsato)

Revision as of 08:23, 27 June 2010

Brainstorming

Controversy over GM foods

  • "Playing God"
  • Safety
    • Whether GM foods safe for consumption (assumption that unnatural things are bad for you)
      • -->are genetically engineered foods "unnatural"? How is synthetic biology different from "traditional" genetic engineering? How are molecular techniques different from "classical" plant breeding technologies? Is there a scale of "naturalness"?
    • Danger of cross-contamination to other crops, spreading the foreign DNA constructs
  • Legal - ownership of GM plants and sales (Monsato)
  • Sustainability - economically and environmentally.
    • Harming wildlife :: Transgenic pollen harms monarch larvae (Nature, Vol 399, No 6733, p 214, May 20, 1999)[[1]] - could be likened to the DDT effect on Bald Eagle eggs exposed in Silent Spring (Rachel Carson)
  • Outcompeting other plant species (indigenous ones)

Also to consider -

  • Public perceptions of genetic engineering (Splice)
    • one thing we are trying to do with this project is to inform the public about genetic engineering and synthetic biology - we want to show them how it is done, rather than letting the media do all the talking. We want to make the processes accessible

Our safety concerns:

  • Genetic fence -- preventing cross pollination and spread of the GM plants.
  • Consumer safety -- making sure that the plant doesn't require that the consumer uses harmful chemicals, making the process simple and safe.
  • Making sure our constructs are not harmful.

From google - a simple overview of GMOs [[2]]

  • creating unintended allergens
  • unknown effects on human health

Ireland enacts GMO-Free Policy [[3]] "Green" Farming vs. Genetic Modification -- can they work together

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