Sonntag, 12. August 2012
Genetically altered children? Why did we not learn from disadvantageous when tinker with the basic building blocks of the earthly environment
Last week the drought in Wisconsin and several other States was re-classified as severe. These unprecedented drought conditions place a tremendous stress on Farmers, who fear a total loss of their crops.
Since June 01, 2012 only 0.31 inches of rain has fallen. If adequate soil moister is not present, pollination and fertilization can be poor. It can become a total loss of the yield. Harvey Kopp grows 130, 000 acres corn on his land in southern Wisconsin. He has no insurance and his loss could climb above $750,000. About 31 percent of Wisconsin State's corn acreage is not insured, estimates UW-Madison agriculture economist Paul Mitchell. "Farmers without crop insurance are not likely to receive any financial help, because federal provisions for drought relieve expired last year," explains Landmark Service cooperative agronomist Joe Speich. "Consumers will be affected too," told Professor Bruce Jones of the University of Wisconsin/Madison the Wisconsin State Journal on 13 July 2012. "After livestock producers run out of feed, because of the drought, they will send their hogs and cows to market they can't afford to feed them. That will drive the meat prices down initially but they'll rise later, along with milk prices.. but as we start to see reduced supplies of food products, we will see higher food prices and that will take a pinch out of our disposable income."
Genetically modified plants have been grown in the US for the past 21 years. Plant diversity and seed saving was the foundations of agricultural sustainability and in a certain context the key to civilization. The fear is justified that genetically modified corn threatens the variety of crops. If one type of plant is lost to disease, a population could depend on the healthy remaining crops. In former times during traditional farming the seed was saved for next year’s crops. Agricultural corporations will not allow crop rotation and the planting of legumes to fix nitrogen in the soil off-season. A small group of powerful corporations demand crop uniformity and monoculture with genetically modified crops. Crops suitable to the weather patterns of the local environment such as drought resistant plants are disappearing due to greed and hubris by large-scale companies. Despite understanding the history, science, politics and technology, small farmers are threatened and depend on purchasing patented seed. The philosophy that larger is better forbids small farmers to save their year’s crop seed for future use. Might even a hunger problem be predictable when we depend on GMO’s? It is thought that famine brought about the collapse the Mayan civilization. They relied solely on a restricted variety of corn until an extended period of draught destroyed the one sort of crop.
With grand genetic experiments unknown consequences may occur. Consumer surveys show that more than fifty percent would not eat GMO’s. Instead they ponder if genetically modified food is harmful or helpful! A number of people including Greenpeace argue that the agricultural industry is more interested in profit than in food safety and its environmental preservation. The concern exists that in the future only GMO food might be available. The British World renowned scientist on food safety Dr. Arpad Pusztai, lost his job when he warned about GMO food. “Make no mistake, this is an irreversible technology. It is no good fifty years later to say: We should have known” Pusztai who worked at the UK’s leading food safety research lab, the Rowett Institute, was suspended a few days after warning about GMO food. The Rowett Institute pointed out that Pusztai was old (68), senile and confused. Not only was he suspended he also did not get permission to speak with the media to defend himself.
Biogenetic engineering appears to have endless possibilities in manipulating plants, animals and humans. Despite the enormous possibilities, its technology can also be applied unethically and recklessly and thus might have the capacity of even destroying us (E. Breburda, Promises of New Biotechnologies).
We do not even fully understand the consequences of genetically modified organisms. Have we learned from the multiple failures and would we risk the survival of humankind when we try to control human reproduction through modern engineering? Human beings are the most complicated organisms on earth.
On April 12, 2012 the Popular Science Magazine posted a title with the headline: "Human Eggs Grown in the Lab Could Produce Unlimited Supply of Humans." The author, Rebecca Boyle described that the first human eggs were grown in the Lab. They were contained from Japanese women who donated their reproductive system after undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Researchers at Edinburgh University and a team from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, were able to coax the cells to become human egg cells. They hope to be able to fertilize them with human sperm cells later this year. Reporters speak about a process that will potentially revolutionizing fertility treatment for women and will bring us a step further toward reproduction sans human interaction. "Until now it is only possible to isolate a relative small number of mature human egg cells directly from the ovaries of women who have been stimulated with hormones. This technical limitation has led to an acute shortage of human eggs for In-vitro-Fertilization treatment as well as scientific research" announced The Independent Newspaper from London/GB in the article called: "Scientists rewrite rules of human reproduction" (April 7, 2012).
Most currently, scientists discuss the research results of the two scholars Jonathan Tilly of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the biologist Ji Wu of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. They indicated that adult women are still able to produce eggs from a small population of rare ovarian egg stem cells. The rule that women and other female mammals produce a finite number of egg cells was questioned. However, the study has incited controversy among reproductive biologists who tried to reproduce the data. They concluded that no egg producing stem cells exist after birth (E. Underwood, Stem Cell Study Scrambles Egg Debate, Again, ScienceNOW, July 10, 2012).
Scientists from the Scripps research Institute, La Jolla California started with normal skin cells to produce induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). "Such cells could eventually make it possible to improve reproduction in highly endangered species, a primate, the drill and the nearly extinct northern white rhinoceros. The process to produce iPS cells is inefficient, meaning only a few stem cells are produced at a time, but that's enough, said Inbar Friedrich Ben-Nun, postdoctoral fellow and author of the study: "Induced pluripotent stem cells from highly endangered species," Nature Methods 8, 04 September 2011. The researchers task is now to differentiate the cells into egg or sperm cells, to implant the resulting embryo in live animals.
"Scientists are already exploring the possibility of producing sperm and eggs from stem cells as a potential solution to human infertility issues", says Professor Loring coauthor of the Paper.
Infertile women drew hope as the first test tube baby was successfully conceived through In-Vitro-Fertilization. "No one want to talk about the morality of In-vitro Fertilization" stated Francis Phillips in the CatholicHerald.co.uk on Friday, 13 July 2012.
For Same-sex partners IVF is the only way to get children. Without In-vitro-Fertilization, we would not have surrogate-mothers, single mothers by choice, Sperm-donor children with countless half-siblings, no designer babies, frozen embryos would not exist and even stem cell research and prenatal diagnosis (PGD) to detect unwanted or undesirable genetic conditions would not be possible.
The bioethicist Michael Hanby found that violence is associated with artificial reproductive technologies, which can be harmful to parents and the resulting child.
However, not only In-vitro-Fertilization but also the use of contraceptives deprives the sexual act of its procreative meaning. The famous human psychologist Sigmund Freud said in his lecture entitled, The Sexual Life of human Beings: "The separation of procreation and sexual activity is the most basic perversion" (J. Strachey, The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol 16). Even Margaret Sanger and Mahatma Gandhi referred to the inevitable deleterious impact that artificial contraception will have. "They make man and women reckless... nothing but moral degradation can be the result... Man has sufficiently degraded women for his lust, and artificial birth control methods, no matter how well-meaning the advocates may be, will still further degrade her (DG Tendulkar, Wisdom for All Times, in 1978, India).
The aim of artificially created new life is to unite egg and sperm cells, outside the human body. Opposed to this act is contraception. Here it is thought to prevent the fusion of sperm and egg. Pills have a low dose of hormones that doesn't suppress ovulation all of the time anymore. The pill also alters the structure of the endometrium. The embryo cannot implant at his 7.5 to 9th day of life. Even pro-abortion lawyers admitted in the Supreme Court 1989 Webster v. Reproductive Health Services case that low-dose birth control pills are designed to cause abortions. After taking contraceptives for 10 year a women will commit ten to twenty "silent" abortions, the American Life League says in his 97th Chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia. The article concludes that contraception; abortion and euthanasia are intimately connected. Interestingly, the fall of the Roman Empire was due to the decline in morals!
Published in Kathnet: Genmanipulierte Kinder - haben wir noch nichts gelernt? 7.17.2012