controversies & ethics

Howard M. Bomze hb10+ at andrew.cmu.edu
Wed Feb 1 17:31:58 EST 1995

   Steve Bonne has been saying that there are no new ethical
considerations for agricultural biotechnologies.  However, he has been
missing one very important one, that is the possibility of an engineered
gene to be transfered to a different species.  The transgenic plant not
only has the sequences of the desired gene, it also contains the
sequences which are necesary to insert the gene into the genome.  So a
question which must be looked at is this:  If a gene for herbicide
resistance has been put into a corn plant so that that herbicide can be
used to kill all of the crab grass in the corn field, what happens if
the gene is transfered to the crab grass?  There are also ethical
problems with other non-agricultural biotechnology.

Howard Bomze

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