Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Genetic engineering is the alteration of genetic code by artificial means, and is therefore different from traditional selective breeding. It has given us the power to alter the very basis of life on earth. Genetic engineering is about scientists altering the 'recipes' for making life, the genes which you find in all living things. Doing this is very clever and could be very useful. But it's all happening much too fast and nobody knows what the effects of making and eating such living things will be. Many kinds of life could be damaged. And suppose people eat 'genetic' food for many years? Will they be harmed by it? Nobody knows for sure.

Cloning has a strong relation to genetic engineering because it a practically the same exact thing. Cloning is the production of one or more individual plants or animals that are genetically identical to another plant or animal, or in other words a group of genetically identical cells.

Though some say it's safe and there are many benefits from it, but there are also many fears and risks of it.

One of the risks of human cloning is just the fact that a single person with human cloning technology could topple the country's economy, because all of the clones would need welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, and other social services.

The benefits include, that if there are traits are good, then you can clone them together to make an even better trait mixture. You can clone a pet, or even yourself and use the clone for spare body parts, you could clone the top beef producing, wool producing beasts. Genetic engineering could create crops that grow in desert heat, or without fertilizer.

I think that human cloning is a very dangerous step. I know it's almost cliché to say this, but...