Genetic engineering

Jason Robert, F. Baylis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The potential public health benefits of genetic engineering are considerable, but so too are the potential harms. Genetic engineering may help to promote health and prevent illness by increasing the quality and quantity of food, by cleaning up toxic environments, and by alleviating human health problems for existing and subsequent generations. Genetic engineering may also threaten human health, however, in producing unsafe foods, polluting our environment, and otherwise undermining or compromising our health status. But the ethics of genetic engineering is not reducible to a risk-benefit assessment, for issues of equity, control of the research agenda, and the possible misuse of the technology come into play, as do ethical concerns about human eugenics and enhancement, animal welfare, undermining the sanctity of nature, and playing God. © 2008

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Public Health
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780123739605
StatePublished - 2008


  • Assisted reproductive techniques
  • Biodegradation
  • Bioethics
  • Bioterrorism
  • Communicable diseases
  • Ethics
  • Gene transfer techniques
  • Genetic engineering
  • Genetically modified animals
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Genetically modified plants
  • Protein engineering
  • Public health
  • Recombinant DNA
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • General Medicine


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