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What are the disadvantages of biotechnology?

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Andrea Vurlow

Living life on my own terms

As you may already know, biotechnology is used to manipulate and control the biological systems to manufacture various products that are useful to humans. There is no doubt that biotechnology provides some great advantages, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any drawbacks.

Disadvantages of Biotechnology:

The main disadvantages of biotechnology can be summed into the following pointers:

  1. Bad impact on agriculture
    Biotechnology is known to give birth to genetically modified plants which can transfer the genetic element to unmodified crops. For example, an agricultural plant is resistant to the herbicide. This may transfer some of its traits to weed and thus, make it herbicide resistant as well. This is one of the major concerns that has triggered the biologists.

  2. Impact on ecosystem and nature
    Biotechnology is used to modify organisms, genetically, the effect of which is still not known. These genetically modified organisms, including bacteria, can escape in the wild and may disturb the balance of the ecosystem. This, as a result, may hurt biodiversity.

  3. It can be destructive
    You may not realize this, but biotechnology may also be turned into a weapon that could cause massive destruction. For example, new medicines can be created with the help of biotechnology, but at the same time diseases can be weaponized.

  4. It has a field with many unknowns
    Biotechnology may have flourished a lot in the last decade, but there are plenty of things that are still unknown. For example, what will happen if the genetics of an individual is altered to cure a disease? Many questions are yet to be answered.

Biotechnology can be helpful, but at the same time, it can be dangerous as well. Therefore, it is important to use it within control.


Joseph T Ortega

Be a Warrior and not a Worrier

Biotechnology is known for doing so many good things for this world. But besides doing good, there are so many other disadvantages which are associated with the contribution of this technology on society.  Biotechnology consists of genetic engineering which covers transferring of the genes from one species to the other. The worst part of this brilliant contribution of biotechnology is that the cost is very high for the genetically modified animals and plants and asks for huge investments. To get back, the money which gets invested in such production governments introduced the concept of patents. 

•     One major disadvantage of using biotech products is serious health risks which are involved when unwanted biological agents get introduced right into the human food supply. You will be surprised to know that one-third of the total milk supply in the US is produced with the use of synthetic growth hormone bovine. There are no such scientific studies to prove that growth hormone consumption by a human is safe.

•     Another biggest problem with biotechnology is the absence of genetic diversity. The biotechnology processes which are used in agriculture are capable of increasing crop yields as well as bring improvement in medical science, but the same is made available against the price of a genetic bottleneck. If the process doesn’t work positively then the entire crop or the medical treatment will be a complete waste and may end up causing threat for species survival.

•     Biotech pharmaceutical products are available to fight against specific disease and illness for example cancer and also AIDS virus. What makes it difficult for everyday people to take advantage of Biotech medicines is the cost.  There are several types of drugs which will cost you some thousands of dollars for every single dose.

•     You will be surprised to know that biotechnology causes economic instability. Biotech food crops deliver high yields because of its exceptional resistance against pests and disease. It’s true that higher yields are very adventitious, but the concern remains with overproduction, which causes market instability. Developing countries, genetically modified foods development, as well as production, is cost-prohibitive which leads to loss with export income.  It completely removed the concept of natural farming which forced the farmers to look for other work opportunities which are not that rewarding. 

Biotechnology managed to improve the status of living, but in spite of all its promises, it comes with a wide range of disadvantages which is very concerning for the society.

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