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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Genetic Engineering on Cows

written by: •edited by: Stephanie Mojica•updated: 3/16/2011

The genetic engineering on cows comes with its benefits and it drawbacks. In this article you will learn how the people and the environment can benefit from genetic engineering and what concerns some people may have.

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    In today's society, people are asking for the perfect vegetables, the healthiest fruits, and meats that are high in protein. That is not always attainable because of several conditions that change the outcome of the foods we eat. Breeders are now using genetic engineering to control exactly what traits they want to pass on to their plants and animals. Genetic engineering can produce the breeder's desired effects much faster than traditional breeding.

    Genetic engineering on cows is used to achieve the desired traits at a fast speed by condensing the generations of breeding and cross-breeding over years and generations into a single transfer of genetic information.

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    Potential Benefits

    The benefits of genetic engineering on cows can increase the quality of the products that people are receiving. Native growth hormones supplements are given to cattle and other animals. The hormone supplements increase milk production by 10 percent per day and the cows reach a market weight sooner, producing healthier leaner meat. Additional benefits include an increased yield and can prevent disease to the animals, reducing the possibility of poisoning of the meat. Mad cow is a disease that scientists have found a breakthrough by using genetic engineering and can prevent the disease from occurring. A protein was found in the cow that is linked to the disease, genetic engineering can remove that protein and eliminate the disease from the future bred cows.

    World hunger is an issue that scientists are hoping genetic engineering can benefit from. Third world countries may have cattle but the quality is not up to standard for human consumption. Using genetic engineering can increase the quality and nutrition of the meat and decrease the amount of people that are getting sick from low-grade meat consumption.

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    Potential Drawbacks

    Although genetic engineering on cows can be helpful in ending world hunger and the prevention of animal disease, many claim that the practice creates drawbacks for both people and the environment.

    Public health concerns are on the rise because people are in fear of developing side effects or allergies caused by the genetic engineering of animals. Many parts of our society do not accept the genetic engineered reproduction of cows or other animals because of religious doctrines or personal preferences. Many people would like products that are genetically engineered to be labeled as such. Since many of the foods that are being consumed use some type of genetic engineering, the sale of certain foods may decrease.

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    Genetic engineering may have its benefits and its drawbacks, but so do many aspects of everyday life. It all comes down to the personal preferences of the person and what they feel is right.

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    Genetic Engineering and Animal Agriculture -

    Scientists Announce Mad Cow Breakthrough: Genetic Engineering Creates Cattle Without Protein That Causes Disease -