Back in March of this year, a reader of Life Science Leader magazine submitted the above question for our popular monthly Ask The Board column. Started in our February 2011 issue, the column enables readers to submit questions, which are then posed to a member of Life Science Leader’s editorial advisory board (EAB). Board members are asked to provide a 160-word written response, which is published on p. 8 in our print edition. When receiving the question, “Are genetically modified organisms (GMO) a blessing or a curse?” I thought it might be a little outside the scope of our publication, as we typically focus on the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. And while GMOs can involve animal, bacteria, plant, and virus genes, we often tend to think of GMOs with the production of food and farms.
This made me wonder, did the reader have an axe to grind? Was there some sort of hidden political agenda? I don’t believe so, as the person has worked in the biopharmaceutical industry for more than two decades, and presently serves as the chief medical officer for a CRO. Besides, when you think of the evolution of cell & gene therapy, and the future of personalized medicine, when it comes to GMOs, aren’t we also talking about genetically modifying humans toward improving health? Which then leads to the penultimate question: When it comes to GMOs, are we playing God? Read more