Genetic engineering can bring several significant improvements into the lives of people. In particular, it can dramatically increase the productivity of agricultural farms in various countries. This technique has already led to the creation of plants that are more resilient to droughts and heat. Apart from that, they can adjust to the less fertile soil (Bruce, 2014, p. 100). So, genetic engineering can play an instrumental role in reducing food insecurity. This benefit can be vital to the development of various countries located in Africa and other regions that are strongly affected by famine.
Apart from that, these techniques enable researchers to create more efficient drugs that can cure various widespread diseases such as cancer. There are other significant opportunities; for instance, such technologies can help identify people who are more likely to suffer from certain illnesses. In turn, researchers will create medications that can inhibit the development of these disorders at the early stages (Bruce, 2014). For instance, one can consider Parkinson’s disease and hemophilia that are caused by the abnormalities in the genome of a person. At this point, various genetic therapies have not been tested thoroughly. Many of these drugs have not been approved. However, in the future, they can considerably improve the lives of many patients.
Certainly, one should not forget about the potential pitfalls associated with the use of such technologies. For instance, researchers express concerns about such activities as the modification of the human genome. Additionally, scholars argue that the organizations that will control these technologies can exercise too much influence over people (Bruce, 2014). Admittedly, this issue should not be overlooked, but these concerns can apply to every breakthrough innovation that changes the lives of individuals and the entire community. However, these drawbacks do not diminish the value of genetic engineering.
In the nineteenth century, such an economist as Thomas Malthus made several predictions about the main demographic trends that could affect various societies. In particular, he believed that the growth of the population would be limited by the shortage of natural resources. Furthermore, people living in different countries could be severely affected by poverty and famine (Hobbs, 2012, p. 68). In his opinion, this danger can manifest itself if the growth of the global population is not reduced. It is important to mention that Malthus made these predictions when the economy was rather inefficient. For instance, much attention should be paid to the work of manufacturing enterprises as well as farms. However, Malthus did not consider potential improvements in various technologies, business models, and production methods that could considerably increase the volume of industrial and agricultural production (Hobbs, 2012, p. 68). If Thomas Malthus’ assumptions had been correct, the global population would never have exceeded 7 billion people.
Nevertheless, one should not suppose that Malthusian arguments have been entirely discarded. They can apply to poor countries in which technologies are not sufficiently developed. Poverty and starvation are widespread phenomena in these states. Additionally, many economists are environmental scientists are concerned about the effects of population growth during the next four decades (Hobbs, 2012). These concerns should not be overlooked because during this period many of the existing natural resources can be depleted. Thus, much will depend on people’s ability to develop more efficient technologies. These technologies will be related primarily to the use of energy and agricultural production.
Bruce, D. (2014). Engineering Genesis: Ethics of Genetic Engineering in Non-human Species. New York, NY: Routledge.
Hobbs, J. (2012). Fundamentals of World Regional Geography. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.