Question of the week: What do you think about genetic engineering?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2007, 12:00am

Chan Kin-kan, 15, Diocesan Boys' SchoolPeople say that genetic engineering is unnatural and even evil. But this 'evil' technology reduces production costs, meaning the poor can afford more food. Genetically engineered crops have better resistance to pests and diseases. They have a longer shelf life, so are easier to transport. Less herbicide and other chemicals are needed to protect them from insects. They have a higher yield and therefore make more efficient use of land. Genetic engineering could also provide cheaper and safer sources of medicine. I do not oppose unnatural technologies which help raise the quality of life.

Lai Cheuk-wai, 16, Fanling Kau Yan College

Although I eat a lot of genetically modified food , I do not support it. Scientists have worked out ways to produce more food which is in short supply. Food chains and ecosystems are destroyed by this scientific interference. Plants develop resistance to certain bugs, but grow weaker against others. We are messing with nature and it could backfire. While genetic engineering can lower the cost of production, is it worth the risk of destroying everything that naturally exists in the world?

Galvin Chia Kau-yun, 17, Chinese International School

Despite the controversy, I'm all for genetic engineering. We've already seen some of its benefits, such as golden rice and vegetables that naturally repel insects. Why not continue with this trend? It can help save the lives of thousands of starving children around the world. Genetic engineering could allow us to eradicate hunger, or even disease. Perhaps I'm an optimist, but I honestly believe that mankind can harness the powers of genetic engineering to create a better world for all of us.

Sonia Chandiramani, 14, St Margaret's English Co-Ed

Genetic engineering or modification is a very common procedure designed to improve our lives. From the vegetables we eat to the medications we're prescribed, many of them are genetically modified. The food we eat is tastier, longer-lasting and bacteria-free with genetic engineering. The quality of our food may have improved, but many still say it's unhealthy to eat unnaturally created food. But most people are supportive of genetically engineered medicines. I am definitely against genetic engineering when it comes to cloning. Humans don't have the right to create people by copying and pasting genetic codes. It will ruin identities and personal lives.