Biotechnology: What Ethical Issues are Raised by the Use of Biotechnology?????
John & Elsa Case Study: • Run a Family Farm • Possibility of Going out of Business • Need to Decide Whether or Not to Use Bovine Growth Hormone Concerned about if customers would still buy milk with BGH
What is Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH)? - Made Naturally in Cows in the bovine pituitary gland. *Naturally in Milk that is from Cows * Gene Splicing Technology - Can be injected into Cows to increase the milk production - Used to increase the feed efficiency of dairy cows. - Do not produce more milk at one time *Extends time period at which peak amount of milk is produced Other names for Bovine Growth Hormone: - rbST - Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin - bST - Bovine Somatotropin - rBGH – Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone - GH – Growth Hormone
Arguments For Bovine Growth Hormone: • Would allow more milk to be produced. • The Milk Stock Supply would be built up. • Milk might be cheaper with a larger supply. • According to the FDA: • There is not a significant amount of BGH in Milk Collected from Cows treated with BGH • “rbGH is degraded by digestive enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract and not absorbed intact” • Only an extremely large amount of milk on a daily basis, i.e. over 15 litres a day would result in a response to BGH in Milk
Arguments Against Bovine Growth Hormone: Effects on Cows & Milk * More susceptible to: - Mad Cow Disease - Utter Infections - Deformed Calves * Cows Treated with BGH produce milk that contains: - Less Protein - More Saturated Fats - Pus - Bacteria - Antibiotics Deformed Cow with Three Horns >> Protein <<Molecule
Arguments Against Bovine Growth Hormone Continued: Effects on Humans: Increased Chance of: - Breast Cancer - Colon Cancer - Diabetes - Hypertension - Premature Breast Growth in Young Children Milk that could contain BGH >> Insulin >>
Arguments Against Bovine Growth Hormone Continued: Economics - BGH is expensive: - Many Local Dairies Cannot Afford it - Indirect Costs due to Health Issues Caused by BGH - Leads to Large Corporations having Monopolies: - Can Afford to Use BGH and Produce More Milk than Smaller Local Dairies - Small Local Dairies Cannot Compete and are Forced to Close their doors
Laws about BGH Use: - Banned in Europe and Asia - European Union Veterinary Council did a series of Studies and found BGH to cause cows o be resistant to antibiotics and could cause allergic reactions in people - Ban on sales of rBGH until December 31st - Must decide if they are going to renew ban - Banned by 95% of U.S. Dairy Farmers - March 8th 2006 – House of Representatives Passed the National Uniformity Act - Prior to this Act local governments had the choice of labeling their products for BGH or similar chemical presence or not - Food labeling laws will be under national control of the FDA, and will be consistent for all states. - BGH Will Not necessarily be labeled then
John and Elsa's Options: CHOSE TO NOT USE BGH: CHOSE TO USE BGH: • Increase Production of Milk • Possibility of More Profit • Could Stay in Business if they sold all of the Milk that was produced • An additional cost • BGH Costs • Costs of Veterinary Bills • Possibility of harm to the cows • Questions about the safety of their customers • Some Customers May Chose to Buy rBGH Free Milk
Questions about You and BGH: • Do you Know if The Milk that you Drink Contains Bovine Growth Hormone? • Had you Heard of bovine Growth Hormone Before? • Would You Switch Which Brand of Milk You Would Drink Based on If it Had BGH Or Not? Why (Animals Health, Your health, etc.)?
Tillamook County Creamery Association April 1st 2005 Banned BGH from Cheese Only At this Time “We are working with those suppliers to implement the same no-artificial-bovine-growth-hormone policy for all Tillamook dairy products. Full implementation will take some time.” -Tillamook Website
Main Product is Fluid Milk Banned in 2005 Banned BGH Not only from Milk, but From all of Their Products Proudly Displayed This on All of its Cartons Also Makes Baskin-Robbins' Ice Cream BGH Free
Other Forms of Biotechnology: Additional Agricultural Uses: Medical Uses
Additional Agricultural Uses: • Improved Forms of Crops • Resist Insects and Disease • Would Reduce the Need for Insecticides and Pesticides • Would Reduce Cost • Better for the Environment • Super-sized and Super-Fast-Growing Animals • Growth Genes from Humans and Cows are inserted into Mice, Fish, etc. to increase the amount of food produced at Farms and Fisheries. • Live Stock that Produce More Young • Hope to develop animals that can have larger litters or lay more eggs.
Additional Agricultural Uses Continued: • Healthier Foods • Engineer Foods that are better for you • Coffee Beans with less caffeine • Low-Fat Meats • Lactose-Free Milk • Foods that Contain More Protein • Vegetables that Stay Ripe Longer • Tomatoes are Engineered to take longer to rot • Left to Ripen on the Vine and have a better Flavor • Plants and Animals that Can Survive Under Harsher Conditions • Develop Crops and Livestock to Survive in Parts of the World where they wouldn't other wise grow • Produce Food closer to the people who need it • Prevent Starvation as the Population Increases
Medical Uses of Biotechnology: • Animals That Can Serve as Organ Donors for Humans • Inserting human genes into pigs and baboons to make organs that are not rejected when transplanted • Would reduce the long waiting lists for organs • Transgenic Plants & Animals that Make Drugs • Produce greater quantities of medicines at a lower cost • Medicines would be available to people who need them • Mice that are Custom Made to Test for Human Diseases • The genes in the immune system are removed so treatments for immune disorders such as AIDS can be tested for • Vaccines that are contained in Foods • Vaccines delivered through fruit would be less expensive and an easier than giving shots to people, especially to people in poorer countries