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Genetic Engineering In Agriculture Essays Online

Genetic Engineering and Its Dangers

Compiled by Professor Ron Epstein



I originally constructed this web site primarily for the benefit of the students in my classes at San Francisco State University, from which I am now retired. (I am currently a research professor at the Institute for World Religions in Berkeley, California.) I am leaving the site online in the hope that people will still find it to be useful. All of the material is copyrighted. Permission is granted for individual, single copy, personal use only. Please send suggestions, corrections, broken links, and inquiries about other use of the materials to me at epstein@sfsu.edu.






"What is Genetic Engineering?" by Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher

"The Rest Of The Story Behind Genetic Engineering: An Interview with Brian Tokar" by Mark Oshinskie

"The Biotech Century: Playing Ecological Roulette with Mother Nature's Designs" by Jeremy Rifkin

"The Biotech Century - A Second Opinion : The Marriage of the Genetic Sciences and the Technologies Reshaping Our World" by Jeremy Rifkin

"PR for the 'Book of Life'" by Jackie Stevens

"Synthetic Life" by W. Wayt Gibbs

"Unraveling the DNA Myth: The Spurious Foundation of Genetic Engineering" by Barry Commoner

"Data Stored in Multiplying Bacteria" by Natasha McDowell

"Genetic Copy of Cat Not a Copycat after All" by Kristen Hays

GM Microbes Invade North America

"Mice 'make human proteins in semen'" by Dr David Whitehouse

"Mice produce sperm from monkeys" by Dr David Whitehouse

"Killer virus: An engineered mouse virus leaves us one step away from the ultimate bioweapon" by Rachel Nowak

"Rebellious Bodies Dim the Glow of `Natural' Biotech Drugs" by Andrew Pollack

"Klebsiella planticola--The Gene-Altered Monster That Almost Got Away" by Elaine Ingham

"Biohazards: The Next Generation?" by Brian Tokar

"Biotech at 25--Too Soon to Celebrate"

"GM Pigs are Both Meat and Veg" by Emma Young

"In Experiment, Mammal Cells Produce Silk Like a Spider's" by Kenneth Chang

"Xenotransplantation: How Bad Science and Big Business Put the World at Risk
from Viral Pandemics" by Mae-Wan Ho and Joe Cummins

Frontline: Organ Farm

"Scientists Are Starting to Add Letters to Life's Alphabet"by Andrew Pollack

"Splicing the Sting Out of Bugs" by Aaron Zitner

"Go-ahead for GM insect release" by Helen Briggs.

"GM Trees Threaten the Global Environment"

"BODY AND SOUL: The Price of Biotech (Part One)" by Philip L. Bereano

"Patent Pending: THE RACE TO OWN DNA (Part Two)" by Philip L. Bereano

"Bioprospecting or Biopiracy? The Hunt for Genetic Riches in the Developing World" Utne Reader

"Transplantation Through a Glass Darkly" by James Lindemann Nelson

"The Selfish Commercial Gene" by L R B Mann

Ethical and Religious Questions

"Pope Expresses Opposition to GMOs, Cites Need for 'the Respect of Nature'"

"Stem Cell Mixing May Form a Human-Mouse Hybrid" by Nicholas Wade

"Synthetic life: Genome team faces ethical questions in its quest to use $3 million grant from Energy Department to create microbe" by Keay Davidson

"Patented Genes: An Ethical Appraisal" by Mark Sagoff

"Religion and Measure H" by Ron Epstein

"Some Common Sense about Measure H" by Ron Epstein

"Buddhism and Measure H: Banning the Growing and Raising of Genetically Modified Organisms in Mendocino County." by Ron Epstein

"Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering" by Ron Epstein

"Genetic Engineering: A Buddhist Assessment" by Ron Epstein

"Ethical Dangers of Genetic Engineering." by Ron Epstein

"Ethical and Spiritual Issues in Genetic Engineering" by Ron Epstein

"Buddhism and Biotechnology" by Ron Epstein

"Bioethics -A Third World Issue" by Dr Vandana Shiva

"Genetic Trespassing and Environmental Ethics" by Dr. Mira Fong

"On Genetic Engineering" by Yifei Zhu, Ph.D.

Technical Information

"Horizontal Gene Transfer – The Hidden Hazards of Genetic Engineering" by Mae-Wan Ho, Ph.D. 

"Horizontal Gene Transfer - New Evidence" by Mae Wan Ho, Ph.D.

"The Unholy Alliance" by Mae-Wan Ho, Ph.D.

"Transgenic Transgression of Species Integrity and Species Boundaries" by Mae-Wan Ho, Ph.D.

"The Genetic Engineering Debate" (v0.32) compiled by Roberto Verzola


True Food Shopping List: How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food

5 reasons to keep Britain [and the rest of the world] GM-free



Genetically engineered trees quietly sprouting

New life for redwood harvesting [GMO Redwoods]


FAO report reveals GM crops not needed to feed the world

"No Foolproof Way Is Seen to Contain Altered Genes" by Andrew Pollack

"Super Organics" by Richard Manning



"As Biotech Crops Multiply, Consumers Get Little Choice" by David Barboza

"Scientists Admit Frankencrops Pollution is Inevitable" by Brian Tokar

"Genetically-Modified Superweeds 'Not Uncommon'" by James Randerson

"Pharm Crops - A Food Accident Waiting to Happen"

"GM Potatoes Deter One Pest But Attract Another"

"Sterile Harvest: New Crop of Terminator Patents Threatens Food Sovereignty"

"Biotechnology in Crops: Issues for the Developing World" compiled by Laura Spinney

"GM Crop DNA Found in Human Gut Bugs" by Andy Coghlin

"Genetically Modified Foods: Are They a Risk to Human/Animal Health?" By Arpad Pusztai, Ph.D.

"Transgenic DNA introgressed into traditional maize landraces in Oaxaca, Mexico" by David Quist and Ignacio H. Chapela

"Thousands of Field Tests of GE Crops Across the U.S."

"Crop pollen spreads further than expected"

"50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods" by Nathan Batalion

Worldwide Initiatives Against GMOs

"Biotech--The Basics" by Rachel Massey

"Bad Bad seeds in court: when genetically modified plants contaminate their crops, organic farmers fight big biotech" by Thomas Hayden

"GM corn set to stop man spreading his seed" by Robin McKie

"GM Trials to Find Medicine Raise New Ethical Fears; Human Gene Crop Fury" by John Ingham and Toby Moore

"THE 'GOLDEN RICE' HOAX  -When Public Relations replaces Science" by Dr. Vandana Shiva

"NASA's Earth plants could invade Mars" by David Perlman

USDA Says Yes to Terminator

"How the Terminator terminates: an explanation for the non-scientist of a remarkable patent for killing second generation seeds of crop plants" by Martha Crouch, Ph.D.

"Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods and Crops: Why We Need A Global Moratorium" by Ronnie Cummins

"Tree of Life: Gene-altered Rubber Plants are Putting Human Proteins on Tap"

"A Bright Future for Crops Converted into Plastic?"

"FAO Report Reveals GM Crops Not Needed to Feed the World"

"GM Genes 'Can Spread to People and Animals'" by Geoffrey Lean, Volker Angres and Louise Jury

"Gene-Altered Catfish Raise Environmental, Legal Issues" by Aaron Zitner

"Mutant Food" by Kristi Coale

"FDA Documents Show They Ignored GMO Safety Warnings From Their Own Scientists"

"World Scientists' Statement Calling for a Moratorium on GM Crops and Ban on Patents"

"Calling for a Moratorium on GM Crops and Ban on Patents"

"Cow's Milk to Be Made More Human with New Zealand DNA Engineering"

"Playing God in the Garden" by Michael Pollan

"Genetically Engineered Soya; Contaminating the Great Treasure" by Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey

"Genetically Engineered Food--A Serious Health Risk" by John B. Fagan, Ph.D.

"Recipe for Disaster" by Joel Bleifuss

"Genetic Engineering of Food Can Spread Serious Allergies" (New York Times, March 14, 1996 )

"Ralph Nader on Genetically Engineered Food" David Frost Special (PBS )

"Why You Should Be Concerned About Genetically Engineered Food" by Ron Epstein, Ph.D.

"Why Genetically Engineered Food Should Be Labeled" by Ron Epstein, Ph.D

"Genetic Engineering: A Major Threat to Vegetarians" by Ronald Epstein, Ph.D.

Technical Information

Death by DNA Shuffling

Ag BioTech InfoNet

"The Failings of the Principle of Substantial Equivalence" by John Fagan, Ph.D.

"A Science-Based, Precautionary Approach to the Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods" by John B. Fagan, Ph.D.

"Genetic engineering and the production of food stuffs: Biosafety Aspects" by Beatrix Tappeser

"The differences between conventional Bacillus thuringiensis strains and transgenic insect resistant plants: Possible reasons for rapid resistance development and susceptibility of non­target organisms" by Beatrix Tappeser

"Survival, Persistence, Transfer - An Update on Current Knowledge on GMOs and the Fate of their Recombinant DNA" by Beatrix Tappeser, Manuela Jäger, and Claudia Eckelkamp

"The Danger of Virus-Resistant Crops" by Joe Cummins, Ph.D.


Bioterror Researchers Build a More Lethal Mousepox

"Now for GM weapons: It's time to get tough with the biotech firms over germ warfare" by Jeremy Rifkin

Bioterrorism issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases (July/August, 1999, v5n4)

"The Demon in the Freezer" by Richard Preston

"Ebola Virus Could Be Synthesised" by Sylvia Pagàn Westphal

"Scientists Create a Live Polio Virus" by Andrew Pollack

"Bioterror And Biosafety" by Vandana Shiva

"US Non-lethal Weapon Reports Suppressed" by Debora MacKenzie

"Single Gene Leap Led to Flea-Borne Transmission of Plague Bacterium" by Laurie K. Doepel

"A Terrifying Power" by Philip Cohen

"Prepare for the Worst" By Rachel Nowak

"With Biotechnology, a Potential to Harm" by Andrew Pollack

"Scientists Fear Miracle of Biotech Could Also Breed a Monster"

"Now for GM weapons: It's time to get tough with the biotech firms over germ warfare" by Jeremy Rifkin

Project Censored: Human Genome Project Opens the Door to Ethnically Specific Bioweapons

"U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits" by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William J. Broad

"Secret U.S. Germ Tests Threat to Treaty" by Roland Watson

"Battlefield uses of biotech proposed in report to Army" by Carl T. Hall

"Deadly Viruses Mishandled, Report Finds: Federal weapons labs may have endangered workers, public"by David Perlman.

"Killer virus: An engineered mouse virus leaves us one step away from the ultimate bioweapon" by Rachel Nowak

"Agricultural Biowarfare and Bioterrorism" by Dr. Mark Wheelis.

"In Gamble, U.S. Supports Russian Germ Warfare Scientists" by Judith Miller.

"Germ War: The US Record"

"Annals of Warfare: the Bioweaponeers" by Richard Preston

The Dangers of Genetically Engineered Bioweapons

Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering: Implications for the Development of New Warfare Agents

"Iranians, Bioweapons in Mind, Lure Ex-Soviet Scientists" by Judith Miller and William J. Broad.

"Germ Weapons: In Soviet Past or in the New Russia's Future" by Judith Miller and William J. Broad.

"Doctors play out bioterrorism scenario."

"Defector Tells of Soviet and Chinese Germ Weapons."

Frontline: "Plague War"


"Engineering Humans" by Rachel Massey

"The New Eugenics: The Case Against Genetically Modified Humans" by Marcy Darnovsky

"Scientists Raise Spectre of Gene-Modified Athletes" by James Randerson

"Gods and Monsters: Talking apes, flying pigs, superhumans with armadillo attributes, and other strange considerations of Dr. Stuart Newman's fight to patent a human/animal chimera" by Mark Dowie

FRONTLINE "Organ Farm: The Risks of Xenotransplantation"

"The Threshold Challenge of the New Human Genetic Technologies"

"Governing the Genome" by Ralph Brave

"The Human Genome Map: The Death of Genetic Determinism and Beyond" by Mae-Wan Ho

Boy's DNA implanted in rabbit eggs" By Roger Highfield

"Genetically Altered Babies Born" by Dr. David Whitehouse

"Researchers Claim to Create Genetically Modified Children"

"(You)2" by Brian Alexander

"Italian, U.S. Scientists Unveil Human Cloning Effort" by Andrew Stern

"'Genie Out of the Bottle' on Human Cloning"

"Designer People: The Human Genetic Blueprint Has Been Drafted, Offering Both Perils and Opportunities for the Environment. The Big Question: Are We Changing the Nature of Nature?" by Sally Deneen

"Clone scientists can grow sperm in laboratory" by Cherry Norton and Lois Rogers

"In The Pipeline: Genetically Modified Humans?"  by Richard Hayes

"The Politics of Genetically Engineered Humans" by Richard Hayes

National Information Resource on Ethics and Human Genetics

"Who Owns Your Genes?" by Gina Kolata

"Cal. Researchers Make 'Bionic Chip'"

"Phase II for Human Genome Research: Human Genetic Diversity Enters the Commercial Mainstream." RAFI Communique

"Who owns your DNA?"  by Arthur Allen

Human Genome Project Information

Engineering the Human Germline Symposium Report



Ag BioTech InfoNet

Alliance for Bio-Integrity
Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS)
Center for Bioethics: Ethics of Gene-Patenting
Center for Ethics and Toxics (CETOS)
Center for Food Safety
Center for Genetics and Society
Council for Responsible Genetics
ETC Group--biotechnology
Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN)
Greenpeace True Food Network
Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism
Institute of Science in Society
Mothers for Natural Law
Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Organic Consumers Association
Third World Network
Totnes Genetics Group
US FDA/Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition: Biotechnology
USDA Biotechnology Information Center


Bill McKibben. Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age. NY: Henry Holt, 2003.

Jeffrey M Smith. Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2003.

Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey, eds. Engineering the Farm: The Social and Ethical Aspects of Agricultural Biotechnology. Covelo, CA: Island Press, 2002.

Kathleen Hart. Eating in the Dark: America's Experiment With Genetically Engineered Food.Pantheon, 2002.

Brian Tokar, ed. Redesigning Life? The Worldwide Challenge to Genetic Engineering. McGill-Queens University Press, 2001.

Ronnie Cummins and Ben Lilliston. Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers. Marlowe & Company, 2000.

Richard Heinberg. Cloning the Buddha: The Moral Impact of Biotechnology. Wheaton Il: Quest, 1999.

British Medical Association. Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity. London: BMJ Bookshop, 1999.

Mae-Wan Ho. Genetic Engineering, Dream or Nightmare. Gateway Books, 1998.

Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey. Against the Grain:the Genetic Gamble with Our Food.Common Courage Press,1998.

Jeremy Rifkin. The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World. Tarcher/Putnam, 1998.

Vandana Shiva. Biopiracy : The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge. Boston: South End Press, 1997.

Ruth Hubbard andElijah Wald. Exploding the Gene Myth. Rev. ed. Boston: Beacon Press, 1997.

Jane Rissler and Margaret Mellon. The Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.

Robin and Laura Ticciati. Genetically Engineered Foods: Are They Safe? You Decide. Keats, 1998.

John Fagan.Genetic Engineering: the Hazards, Vedic Engineering: the Solution. MIU Press, 1995.

Website established September, 1996.
Revised March, 2004.
Return to homepage.

The Effects of Genetic Engineering on Agriculture Essay

1409 Words6 Pages

The Effects of Genetic Engineering on Agriculture

Agribiotechnology is the study of making altered agricultural products. Agribusiness is trying to alter the genes of already existing products to try to enhance the biocompetitiveness and adaptability of crops by enhancing plant resistance to drought, salinity, disease, pests and herbicides. They are going to try to enhance their growth, productivity, nutrient value, and chemical composition. The old way of doing this was through selective breeding, special fertilizer, and hormones. This seems now somewhat outdated with today’s technology. Genetic engineering comes with many downfalls. Increased production through genetic engineering could exhaust nonrenewable resources more…show more content…

This is a common bacterium on plants that causes frost to form on them. The lipoprotein coating of this bacterium is blown from the plants and soil into the atmosphere. Once in the upper atmospheric regions, these particles act as nuclei around which water collects and freezes to form ice. Some scientists consider this process absolutely essential for rain to fall. Genetic engineers are working on a strain of P. syringae that would not form frost on plants. Some scientists are concerned that these strains could conceivably cause serious climatic perturbations that inhibit rainfall and cause drought. Farmer’s fields are not the only places that are threatened. Scientists are looking for a way to destroy lignin, an organic substance that makes trees rigid, by use of a genetically engineered enzyme. They believe that it would be of use to clean up the effluent form paper mills or for decomposing biological material for energy. This poses a threat to forests because it could destroy massive amounts of them by eating away their lignin. We could end up with no trees. Engineers could try to create organisms with a “suicide” gene so they only live for a very short time, but they would be alive long enough to do damage. These engineers and businesses, like Pioneer, Sandoz, Imperial Chemical Industries, Dow, Ciba-Geigy, Monsanto, Upjohn, Elanco, and Pitman-Moore to name the leading corporations in agribiotechnology, don’t understand the impact that these engineered

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