There are many different points of view and controversies regarding transgenic animals.  A few definitive pros and cons are apparent, but there are many arguable ethical issues that arise, as well. 


-          Xenotransplantation

-          nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals

-         human gene  therapy human gene therapy 

-         increased knowledge of human diseases/increased insight on new treatmentsincreased knowledge about human diseases and how improve treatments


-          Implications towards natural biodiversity of the Earth

-          Consumption of an animal containing a human gene perceived as cannibalism

-          Potential harmful effects towards animals



Fig. 14. depicts a pig who was injected with a gene that is proving to be lethal.  These are it's final stages which are spent suffering.

Fig.13. shows Xenotransplantation from a transgenic animal     into a human (pig organ is transferred into human) 

Ethical Questions:

·         Should there be universal protocols for transgenesis?

·         Should such protocols demand that only the most promising research be permitted?

·         Is human welfare the only consideration? What about the welfare of other life forms?

·         Should scientists focus on in vitro (cultured in a lab) transgenic methods rather than, or before, using live animals to alleviate animal suffering?

·         Will transgenic animals radically change the direction of evolution, which may result in drastic consequences for nature and humans alike?

·         Should patents be allowed on transgenic animals, which may hamper the free exchange of scientific research?

·         Are animals that combine species an unethical change of the natural order of the universe?

·         Is it unethical to modify an animal's genetic make-up for a specific purpose, without knowing in advance if there will be any negative side-effects?

·         Does creating animals by genetic engineering mean treating the animals entirely as commodities?

·         Is it unethical to create diseased animals that are extrememly likely to suffer?

    Over all, the most concern revolves around the animals and their treatment.  The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee published guidelines for transgenic animals:

       "In either case, the IACUC should determine if the mutant gene will result in a severely debilitating phenotype, if anything can or will be done to amelio­ rate such phenotype, and what endpoints will be used to determine when a mutant animal will be euthanized" 


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