Are GMOs safe? Yes. The case against them is full of fraud, lies, and errors.

“GMO labels won’t clear this up. They won’t tell you whether there’s Bt in your food. They’ll only give you the illusion that you’ve escaped it. That’s one lesson of the Non-GMO Project, whose voluntary labels purport to give you an “informed choice” about what’s in your food.”

“That’s the fundamental flaw in the anti-GMO movement. It only pretends to inform you. When you push past its dogmas and examine the evidence, you realize that the movement’s fixation on genetic engineering has been an enormous mistake. The principles it claims to stand for—environmental protection, public health, community agriculture—are better served by considering the facts of each case than by treating GMOs, categorically, as a proxy for all that’s wrong with the world. That’s the truth, in all its messy complexity. Too bad it won’t fit on a label.”

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/07/are_gmos_safe_yes_the_case_against_them_is_full_of_fraud_lies_and_errors.html?wpsrc=sh_all_tab_tw_top

The Quest to Resurrect Extinct Species

“A father-son duo of biologists has set the stage for so-called de-extinction. But should we be doing this at all?”

“In the past, scientists played their cards close to the vest as they developed, then commercialized, powerful new technologies. Often, they were sure that what was best for the science was best for society. And time after time, their secrecy and paternalism fed fears that sparked a public backlash — over technologies as diverse as test-tube babies, cloned animals like Dolly the sheep and genetically modified organisms. “The reason we’re in this situation with [the backlash against] genetically modified organisms is because we didn’t talk about it clearly enough, early enough,” Church says.”

http://discovermagazine.com/2015/march/14-jurassic-arke

Tweaking Genes to Save Species

Should humans intentionally try to kill of a species? What if this tactic resulted in the complete extinction of these mosquitos? What if this extinction resulted in saving human lives?

“BIOTECHNOLOGISTS have engineered the mosquito that spreads the Zika virus to pass a lethal gene to its offspring. Another team of researchers has devised a way to spread sterility through the mosquito population, using a technique called gene drive to wipe out the offending insects.

“If regulators approve this genetic tinkering, these insects could become a powerful weapon against the spread of mosquito-borne diseases to humans. But bugs like these, and the techniques used to create them, might have another role to play: helping to protect the earth’s biodiversity.”

Another article on the same topic.

https://www.statnews.com/2016/02/03/zika-gene-drive-gene-editing/

Ethicists approve ‘3 parent’ embryos to stop diseases, but congressional ban remains

“But panel members said that they took the philosophical issues seriously, noting that someone with genetic material from two different maternal bloodlines would potentially have to wrestle with questions about identity, kinship and ancestry.

“They also countenanced the possibility that people would want to use this new technique to create babies that are enhanced in some way intellectually or physically. They said that is not a major concern at the moment because the feasibility of such enhancements remains speculative.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/02/03/to-prevent-disease-ethicists-approve-creation-of-embryos-with-three-genetic-parents/?wpisrc=nl_draw2

Another article about the application of the technique.

Designing babies or saving lives in Mexico?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37505751?utm_source=Premium+TOK+newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=7cdac1f063-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_11_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f031581d64-7cdac1f063-98485421&mc_cid=7cdac1f063&mc_eid=34e2887073

All Gene-Editing Research Should Proceed Cautiously, Scientists Conclude

“The official statement, which says work altering human germ lines should remain only in the lab, caps a three-day summit on using technology to alter the human genome”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/all-gene-editing-research-should-proceed-cautiously-scientists-conclude1/

And a second article on the subject

“Improving” Humans with Customized Genes Sparks Debate among Scientists”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/improving-humans-with-customized-genes-sparks-debate-among-scientists1/

Pet micro pigs? Chinese biotech firm says it will sell very small swine

This article offers us another example of the ceaseless advancement of new and innovative applications of genetic engineering. With all this advancement come more questions about the ethics of such techniques.

“What rules should apply to gene editing is an increasingly pressing question for not just agencies such as the FDA but also scientists and medical ethicists as the technique moves from the animal world to the human realm. Although gene editing holds the promise of significant medical breakthroughs, it also could open a Pandora’s box of eugenic-like applications.”

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-china-micropigs-20151005-story.html

As British scientists seek to edit the genes of embryos; bioethicists warn of potential dangers

“It was the first time edits had been confirmed to have been done on reproductive cells and the news caused deep divisions within the scientific community. Some expressed optimism and hope that such research could eventually lead to the eradication of genetic diseases from the face of the Earth. Others were horrified — warning that genetically modifying humans is unsafe and could have devastating consequences on future generations of our race that no one can foresee.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/rweb/api/print.html?id=4c92e97901b450352df9f3f89c5f4496