“We have recently advanced our knowledge of genetics to a point where we can manipulate life in a way never intended by nature. We must proceed with the utmost caution in the application of this new-found knowledge. ” as stated by Luther Burbank. This may be the case now as major advances in biotechnology are being made. I was amazed to learn that even in Philippines, there are a number of activities related to the development of biotechnology. Biotechnology in Philippines is applied to different areas such as agriculture, food production, medicine and engineering.
I was not aware that traditional biotechnology was already practiced by Filipinos even before. Some products of traditional biotechnology are lambanog, kaingin, Ingrid fancy and ethnomedicine. Due to the significant promise to the future of biotechnology, Filipinos continued working with biotechnology and were able to produce new useful products: GM Abaca, GM Corn and stem cells used in dermatology. Biotechnology has provided and continues to give the Filipinos benefits. For me, the biggest contribution it gives is the increase of food production.
The growing population of the Philippines affects the food production of farmers. Through the products of biotechnology, there will not be a problem with this since more food is being harvested. Biotechnology holds the key to increasing the yield of staple crops since it allows farmers to reap bigger harvests. Aside from this, biotechnology also helps in producing better food, conserving the environment and creating cure for diseases. Along the good advantages of biotechnology come the risks of using it.
There are issues regarding the effects of eating GMOs to the human health. Currently, there are GMOs that are considered to be harmless to humans but there are also unknown effects, which we are not aware of yet. Another issue is the potential ecological risk of biotechnology. Genetic pollution is an issue where there might be an uncontrolled gene flow into other populations. This has the capacity to disturb the ecological balance of nature. Biotechnology offers both good and bad impacts.
As biotechnology is emerging n Philippines, the public is not yet aware of what it is all about. Being the consumers, they must be informed of what are being offered to them. This is a complex issue where the people must be well informed for them to formulate their own opinion on the issue. Also, regulations and policies must also be clearly stated by lawmakers. Such regulations are necessary to protect public health and safety, to promote international and local trade, conserve natural resources and account for ethical issues.