What are the pros and cons of biotechnology?


Quick Answer

Biotechnology can be used to increase the availability of certain plants and animals. It can also be used in making new vaccines and the creation of advanced treatments. On the other hand, biotechnology may lead to the introduction of a new strain of pathogens.

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Full Answer

Biotechnology involves the deliberate manipulation of biological systems, organisms or processes to manufacture products designed to benefit human life. Scientists can grow plants that contain a higher level of a particular nutrient to treat diet deficiencies or engineer them to taste better. Another benefit of biotechnology is its application in the control of pests and diseases. Biologist can breed plants that offer better resistance to pests, reducing the need for harmful pesticides

Biotechnology however carries some risks. Growing crops resistant to pesticides, may spur the growth of stubborn weeds that are more resistant to pesticides. Improving the growth cycle of a crop may also result in an unbalance in the ecosystem, causing the increase or reduction in other plants or animals. Biologists also fear that the process of manipulating plant protein may lead to a new strain of allergens in foods. In addition, little is known about the long term health risks (if any) of eating genetically modified foods.

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