"From Naked Ape to Superspecies" by David Suzuki

Essay by -=wc=-University, Master'sA+, May 2004

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GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are a subject discussed vividly today. David Suzuki, author of "From Naked Ape to Superspecies", develops on the negative side of these organisms. "Horizontal gene transfer, the tool on which biotechnology is built, can also happen in nature, but very rarely. It's a good thing it's rare, because it can be dangerous" (Suzuki 108). Many diseases have been passed on to the humans this way, as AIDS came from the chimpanzees and was transmitted to human who got in contact with them. These horizontal transferred diseases are extremely dangerous as the new carrier does not have the defences against it. By genetically modifying organisms, the opportunities to have these diseases increase. This can be proven by the sudden appearance of at least 30 new of these in a very short period of time. At first, when the genetic engineering started, people were more afraid of giving rise to non-destructive bacteria.

Security measures were taken as "viruses and bacteria were deliberately 'crippled' with defective genes to reduce their ability to survive outside lab conditions" (Suzuki 109). As new areas could be explored the safety measures were overcome and the products were put on the market in the late 1970s. Scientists were telling the world that biotechnology was less difficult than owning a dog, but it was later proven that even those crippled bacteria could survive in the environment as they were and become more resistant.

        Later on, some scientists started worrying how these products had been released without any major research done on its effect on the health and environment. Money seemed to be the reason why this had happened, but the attitude, curiosity of humans, and "the thrill and power of probing nature's secrets" (Suzuki 111) could be a good explanation. The whole idea of creating...