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Response Guidelines

Read the posts of your peers and respond to at least two. Challenge his or her position on government regulation of bioengineering. Explain and support your own position.



A soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is being used to genetically modify cotton.  The bacteria effects the enzymes that will produce a resistance to herbicides which kill unwanted plants like weeds and pesticides that kill unwanted animals like silkworms.  As a result the cotton will be able to grow effectively and not be killed.

There are several benefits and negative effects; however one advantage of the genetically modified cotton would be an increase in crop production. The most abundant use for cotton is the production of cloth with is extremely important in making clothes.  Therefore the more cotton grown the more cloth items can be produced.  A disadvantage would be effectiveness of the crop to continue the resistance in future crops.  This issue would be whether or not the modified gene will be passed on to the next generation of crops.  Would there be a need for more bioengineering of the bacteria’s effect on the crop.  

            I personally think that individuals should support the bioengineered bacteria as well as government.  Cotton is a commodity that has always been in high demand.  We all need cloth material not just for cloths but for furniture, insulation, etc. to live comfortably.  The government should support more research to effectively engineer these bacteria for its effectiveness; however it should also monitor for its effects on the environment, negative and positive.  

            Cotton is not edible, however it should be properly identified with its ingredients, hazards and interactions with other organisms and its effects if contact occurs.