The rDNA Debate

The rDNA Policy Makers

Historical Events in the rDNA Debate

Genetic Engineering Issues Today


Recombinant DNA Debate Overheads

Recombinant DNA Debate WWW Links

Genetic Topics

Genetic Engineering Issues Today

The development of the recombinant DNA technology has opened up research areas that previously were not possible.  Coupled with this research though has been a very active public debate about the effects these techonologies have upon society.  The following are questions related to several research fields that have developed since the advent of recombinant DNA technology.  Each of the fields have specific questions that being debated today in the public arena.  The debate of these questions is certainly to continue for quite awhile to come.

Genetic Screening

  • Who should be tested and under what circumstances?
  • Should a sample be taken from every new born baby to type the child genetically?
  • Who should have access to this information?
  • Will a class of individuals that are geneticaly untouchable develop that is unemployable?

Gene Therapy

  • What are the ethics of correcting a recessive and possible fatal gene?
  • Should it be done or should we resign ourselves to biological fate?
  • Should treatment only involve somatic cells and not germ cells?
  • Who can receive the treatment, and should it be equally available to all?
  • What traits should be treated?
  • Will this produce a class of genetic outcasts?

Biotechnology Products

  • Should genetically engineered foods be available to the public?
  • What type of foreign DNA should be permitted in foods?
  • Should pharmaceutical products be developed using genetic engineering products?
  • What type of environmental release of products should be permitted?

Regulating Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

  • Who should have the final say on whether research should be performed?
  • What balance should be sought between scientific- and lay-public concerns?
  • How are potential health and economic benefits, and product safety issues balanced?
Copyright © 1997. Phillip McClean