Implications Potentials of Biotechnology
2. The advantages of implementation of biotechnologies
3. The critic of implementation of biotechnology
The contemporary society is characterized by significant achievements
in different spheres of life, including technological progress
and economic development. Unfortunately the contemporary world
has a number of problems which are basically the result of
human activities and are related to the environment pollution,
which in its turn creates quite dangerous perspectives of
the further development of the human society in the global
scale. In such a situation many specialists suggest to be
as close to nature as possible in order to sustain harmony
that existed in nature before human intervention.
One of such alternatives is the development of biotechnologies,
which may be applied in different spheres of life but they
seem to be particularly helpful in agriculture, especially
if one takes into consideration that it is easier to apply
biotechnologies in agriculture than in some industry.
The current situation
Nowadays it is obvious that implementation of biotechnologies
is probably the most effective means of the environmental
protection because they are not harmful for nature and human
health compared to conventional technologies. The spheres
of implementation of biotechnologies is very wide. For instance,
biotechnologies can be used in some industrial production.
As a rule such products are recyclable and environmentally
friendly that particularly contrasting to the products which
cannot be recycled and which consequently pollute the environment,
such as different sorts of wastes of heavy industry, etc.
However, biotechnologies seem to be particularly effective
if applied in agriculture where the use of chemical products,
antibiotics and other unnatural elements are typical for conventional
farming. In such a situation organic farming, based on progressive
biotechnologies seems to have great perspectives for further
development. In its research the works of Thomas R. DeGregori
are particularly noteworthy since he states that “biotechnologists
are working to create even more efficient plants” (2004:371)
than those which have been created during the Green Revolution,
which actually lead to the implementation of dangerous technologies
Furthermore, products of organic farming, which amply use
biotechnologies is more preferable for consumers than the
products of conventional farming. Their choice may be explained
by those advantages that organic farming has over conventional
farming. Especially, when the market is overwhelmed by suspicious
products and very often people even don’t know what
they really eat. So, advantages of organic farming and consequently
of the use of biotechnologies, are as follows:
First of all it is traditionally supposed to produce natural
food without artificial chemical additives that make such
food much more attractive for a person who cares about his/her
health because it is well known that pesticides often used
in chemical farming may be very dangerous not only for human
health but also for environment where people live. Organic
farming traditionally uses manure, different composts and
other natural products.
Secondly it fertilizes soil and in such a way makes it more
convenient for farming. It is especially important because
on using chemicals or other conventional means of farming
the condition of soil may be seriously deteriorated. Nowadays
it is already a problem how to restore the productivity of
lands that were exhausted by pesticides and risk to be completely
destroyed if such methods of farming won’t be stopped.
Also organic farming provides for diversity of plants while
large farms where pesticides and other chemicals are used
mainly have only one plant because it is more profitable for
them as they don’t need to waste money on using different
artificial materials depending on a sort of plant. The nature
of organic farming demands such diversity because it is needed
for higher productivity of land.
One more positive aspect of organic farming is the fact that
cattle and poultry on such farms are fed by natural food and
the use of any chemicals such as antibiotics is highly restricted
and their use is exceptional. Unlike conventional farming,
organic farming treat them naturally. It means that they have
natural conditions of life and they grow in normal conditions.
It guarantees that the products of organic farms will be safe
As for economical aspect, organic farming do not receive any
financial help from the government unlike conventional farming
which is subsidized and supported by means of various special
terms of work. Though organic farming is still quite expansive
even if farmers do not buy synthetic pesticides and other
chemicals for their farms.
Finally, though it seems a bit paradoxically but organic farming
do not use some achievements of modern science. Among them
we can name genetically modified organisms. Though they are
permitted to be grown on some farms the effect they produce
on nature and human life are vague and not clear. This lack
of knowledge about their effect makes products, which are
genetically modified, unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
All these facts contribute to the fast development of organic
farming and growth of its popularity as well as the growth
of interests from the part of the ‘big’ agribusiness.
It makes organic farming very prospective branch of American
agriculture that sooner or later could compete with conventional
The critic of implementation of biotechnologies
But despite growing popularity of organic farming and implementation
of biotechnologies they are often criticized and, certainly,
some of the arguments of critics has to be thoroughly analyzed.
As it has already been mentioned organic farming has enough
advantages in comparison with chemical farming but some of
this advantages are criticized and here I am going to concentrate
my attention on this critic.
Firstly, it is necessary to underline that the growth of organic
farming and the interest of agribusiness in it can have a
negative effect on organic farming because it becomes more
commercialized and the profit of the owner becomes the main
aim of farming. As a result, nowadays some organic farms are
allowed to use some inputs which, potentially, may have a
negative impact on environment and human health (eg. sewage).
That proves that further chase for profit may threaten to
the positive image of organic farming and it also leads to
the same problems that conventional farming has already got.
Among these problems I have already named the danger of pesticides
used in chemical farming. But critics of organic farming estimate
that some synthetic pesticides are made on the basis of natural
pesticides. This improvement makes them less dangerous but
not absolutely safe.
One more problem of organic farming is the protection of farms
from pests. It is a well-known fact that conventional farms
solve this problem using different chemicals that is not acceptable
in organic farming. But in the case of wide spread of organic
farming and its domination over conventional one the problem
risks to become a real disaster if methods of natural anti-pests
protection won’t be as effective as their artificial
counterparts. It is very difficult to foresee the prospects
of organic farming in such a situation, especially, if we
take into our consideration the fact that conventional farming
and use of artificial means of plants protection forced pests
to evaluate and to enforce their vitality and resistance.
Another argument of critics against organic farming is the
danger of food contamination by products of this way of farming.
Some specialists consider that organic food can be quite dangerous
and provoke some diseases which are caused by food. They also
say that some materials used in organic farming are dangerous
too (manure contains a human pathogen, some biological toxins,
etc.). But as for me I think that there are some other factors
that can cause food contamination: the conditions of storage,
the transportation of products, etc.
Finally, the commercialization of organic farming led to the
weakening of regulations that permitted to use such inputs
or products that were unimaginable a short time before. For
example, in April 2004 USDA adopted a directive that permitted
to use some synthetic pesticides on organic farms. In general
such decisions and trends contradict to traditional principles
of organic farming which emphasize the presence of only natural
ingredients in organic products.
Thus, organic farming has some doubtful aspects that were
listed in this part of my work but before criticize we have
to study and compare both organic and conventional farming
and nowadays the information concerning two ways of agriculture
is obviously not enough, particularly, in relation to organic
farming that is not so wide spread as its critics.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible
to conclude that the implementation of biotechnologies is
very effective and will definitely improve the ecological
situation and prevent many health problems people currently
faces. The example of implementation of biotechnologies in
agriculture proves that it can be applied to practice but
it should be done very carefully in order not to provoke economic
problems and to develop the habit of consumption of environmentally
friendly products created with the help of biotechnologies.
1. DeGregori, Thomas R. Origins of the Organic Debate: Vitalist
Junkscience vs. Scientific Inquiry. Ames: Iowa State Press,
A Blackwell Scientific Publisher, 2004.
2. Griscom, Amanda. Organic: friend or faux. Gristmill Magazine,
3. Oelhaf, R. Organic Agriculture: economic and ecological
comparisons with conventional methods. Allanheld, Osman, Montclair,