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Remakin' Bacon: Should We Make Bad Food Good? (2)

Of course, while some folks like Lynne feel a modified pig designed to contain beneficial ingredients is a cool thing, others, as you might expect, have a different view. Here is an opposing opinion from Dr. Autumn Fiester, Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. It is one of the most eloquent pieces I have read about the booming biotech field and the ethical questions surrounding it. --Dr. Don Rose
The new omega-3 pig is the perfect example of what is terribly wrong with American animal biotech research: scientists pursue whatever interests them, and then they try to find a problem for which their results can be hailed as the solution. Instead of having the animal biotech agenda driven by the public's true needs and values, we have an agenda-less agenda, with individual research teams expending vast resources on frivolous projects the public doesn't want or need. Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to this science, and much of this research is federally funded, so the American people actually pay for the research through their tax dollars. We need a biotech strategy that serves the public's collective interests and conforms to their values.
For the majority of Americans, we could stop right here. Given the level of opposition to this research, this is all the argument they need to demand more federal planning and regulation. But you might say of the super-pig, "So no one will buy them or eat them. Scientists learned a little something. What's the harm?" Let's lay it out.
First: the omega-3 pig represents the worst type of "research waste": precious scientific resources of time, mental energy, and money that could be used to tackle serious human and environmental threats are being devoted to frivolous causes. The list of devastating problems begging for a scientific solution includes: chronic, genetic, and infectious diseases, famine, food and water safety, global warming, and the destruction of ecosystems.








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