The research paper will discuss food security through biotechnological engineering. It will also
point out the potential benefits that society can derive from using advanced agricultural methods
in food production. The writer will also discuss the research material derived from the years of
experimentation. Finally, the paper will concludesummarize with the writer’s opinion on the
Key words: Genetic modification, Food Security, crops, livestock and environment.
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Thesis Statement: Man must come up with an ethical way to guarantee food security for
present and future generations.
II. Consequence of Personal Actions
Animals, the ecosystem and people may suffer the effects of advanced agricultural
methods in food production. However, animals and people benefit most from personal actions.
III. Actual Harm
Actual harm includes increased global warming, environmental degradation, and high
incidences of disease in animals and human beings (Thomspon, 2011). Unethical agricultural
techniques using excessive herbicides and pesticides can result in increased chemical residues on
foodstuffs. The techniques can also expose farm workers to toxic chemicals. Unethical practices
such as cloning can have negative effects on animals like sheep, goats and cows.
Cloning increases the likelihood serious genetic defects occurring in animals (Ruse &
Castle, 2011). The first cloned sheep, Dolly, suffered deformed bones and a weak excretory
system. People who eat cloned animals or meat that is enhanced with steroids are at the risk of
suffering hormonal imbalances. Processing does not remove additives from the meat. Increased
herds of cows will increase the amount of methane in the atmosphere. This affects the climate
and causes temperature variations that can harm the environment.
Actual benefits include high yields, food security, and efficient agricultural methods. A
farmer practicing zero grazing can raise heavy beef cattle in the confined space (Fedorrof &
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Brown, 2011). Food security will improve because people will use technology to increase the
yield per plant. For example, one crop could produce multiple yields in a single year.
IV. Potential Harm
Potential harm can come from substitutes that replace actual products. Scientists in
Boston recently created a full beef patty from stem cells (Fedorrof & Brown, 2011). StemThese
cells contain DNA that can trigger cancer causing cells. Genetically modified plants can change
the soil composition; it may become too acidic to support farming.
People will obtain food that caters to existing medical conditions easily. This will reduce
the money they spend on hospital bills
V. Reality check
Types of information and amounts available
The information is analyzed from academic journals, books and websites. According to
the research material, a farm in the 1900's averaged 80 hectares in size (Thompson, 2011). The
manager employed 30% of the American labor force. By the year 2000, individual small scale
farms shrunk to 2two million in number. These employed three percen3% of the entire
population (Thompson, 2011). Currently, large farms predominate and produce 80% of
America's agricultural commodities (Thompson, 2011).
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The information comes from several international organizations like the UNFAO, WTO,
animal rights activists, scholarly journals/books and agricultural ‘think tanks". The Eexamples of
scholarly journals include "Ethically and genetically modified Foods" by the University of
California-Berkley SCOPE research group. One can also obtain information from the books such
as "Vexing nature: On the Ethical Case against Agricultural Technology". Academicians like
Peter Hartel and Paul Thompson also provided useful information. Some of the authors teach
agricultural engineering and biotechnology in universities. Others work for Non-Governmental
agencies like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association.
The aAcademic journals provide factual and reliable information. The best
informationdata comes from the NGO's because they keep updated records of agricultural
developments. They compare these records againstwith the data from around the world. Animal
activists base their data on assumed similarities between animals and people (Ruse & Castle,
2011). They consider animals equal to man. The information provides accurate data in terms of
numbers and percentages. For example, one can see the percentage and actual numerical decline
in the number of small American firms. The information lacking here includes data from the
American surgeon general and the WHO (World Health Organization). This data would provide
a breakdown of the negative effects of genetic modification and biotechnology.
People can turn to natural farming methods that entail the use of organic fertilizer and
fallow methods to keep the soil fertile. Organic fertilizer does not increase the soil's acidity or Ph
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(Ruse & Castle, 2011). Keeping free range cattle or livestock will build their resistance. The
livestock will provide quality meat without harmful additives.
VI. Application of Ethical Theories to Selected Issue
According to this theory, human beings have certain rights to ensure that others treat
them in a just and fair manner. Therefore, no one can inflict physical harm or damage on another
person's property without justification (Thompson, 2011). Any action that harms an individual
constitutes an ethical violation.
The utilitarian theory says that the consequences of an action determine whether it is right
or wrong (Thompson, 2011). One can interpret good or adverse consequences differently.
According to the utilitarianism theory, people should act to minimize harmful consequences and
maximize beneficial consequencesresults. However, some actions performed under free will can
cause potential harm. Ethical actions should result in positive resultsoutcomes for the greatest
number of people.
The virtue theory states that human beings should act according to certain ideals
(Thompson, 2011). A fair or just person will show their virtue through actions. A wrong action
does not follow ideals, and it prevents others from following them. An individual who does not
follow virtue inflicts harm on themselves. They may also inflict harm on others by preventing
them from seeking virtue.
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V11. Time Uurgency to Aact Eethically on the Iissue
In the near future, billions of people worldwide will achieve the middle-class status
(Thompson, 2012). These people will want to emulate their developed world counterparts by
eating protein rich meals. This means that people will reserve large tracts of agricultural land to
produce animal feed. Twenty years from now, the world may face a shortage of critical foodstuff
when the population reaches 9 billion. This might force scientists to adopt unethical methods to
guarantee food security.
In conclusion, the writer feels that they should buy food crops grown using organic
methods. They will also encourage family members to shop for food stuff that is free from
preservatives. This will go a long way in preventing side effects such as cancers, which are quite
expensive to treat. The writer will approach the local member of congress in a professional
manner and request them to start a database. It will be useful in recording the amount of
chemical pollutants in the soil after every four months. This will help farmers to regulate their
use of unethical agricultural techniques.
Fedorrof, N & Brown, Nancy. (2011). Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically
Modified Food. New York, NY: Wiley Press.
Ruse, M & Castle, David. (2011).Genetically modified Foods: Debating Biotechnology. New
York, NY: Springer Academic Press.
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Thompson, P. (2011). CAST. Consul for Agriculture, Science and Technology. Journal of
Agricultural ethics, 29, Feb 2011, 1-12.
Thompson, P. (2012). Agricultural Ethics. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.