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IELTS Writing Task 2: genetic engineering essay

Here's my sample essay for the question below.

Genetic engineering is an important issue in society today. Some people think that it will improve people’s lives in many ways. Others feel that it may be a threat to life on earth. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

It is true that genetic engineering is a key area of modern scientific research, with broad implications for all human societies. While I accept that this field of technology may have its dangers, I believe that the benefits of genetic engineering outweigh the drawbacks.

The negative implications of genetic engineering are often discussed in terms of two key areas, which are food production and the cloning of humans. Genetically modified crops are already being grown, and people are concerned that they may damage whole ecosystems as foods become resistant to diseases and natural predators. But perhaps even more worrying is the possibility that humans could be modified or cloned. Some people imagine a world in which cloned humans are used to fight wars or to provide body part replacements. Although perhaps not a threat to life on earth, the implications of such practices would be unprecedented.

A more optimistic prediction, and one that I favour, is that humans will find ways to mitigate the risks and use genetic technologies in a responsible way. From the food production perspective, genetic engineering could be the solution to famine in developing countries, if, for instance, crops can be grown more reliably in harsh conditions. From a medical perspective, scientists may use genetic engineering to produce vaccines, to cure diseases, or to correct a genetic defect before a child is born. If properly regulated, even cloning can be done in a way that improves lives. For example, the cloning of individual organs, such as a heart or kidney, could be permitted for transplant purposes.

In conclusion, I am convinced that genetic engineering will have a positive impact on our lives, and that people's fears will be unwarranted.

(283 words, band 9)

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