Governing sustainable food and farming production futures using integrated risk assessment approaches
Gesche, Astrid H. & Haslberger, Alexander (2006) Governing sustainable food and farming production futures using integrated risk assessment approaches. In Kaiser, M & Lien, M.E. (Eds.) Ethics and the politics of food; Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, 22-24 June 2006, Oslo.
Nanofoods, 'functional foods' and biopharming are three production futures that are strongly developing despite being characterised by significant gaps in knowledge and understanding, and a peculiar scarcity of proactive processes with which to seize opportunities and minimise and manage potential risks and public concerns which could negatively impact on the industry. In order to better assess benefits and risks and to build public trust, the paper suggests the establishment of an integrated health/food and environmental risk assessment regime that also incorporates and is responsive to the ethical concerns, socio-economic realities and local demands of various stakeholders – right from the beginning of a development. In order to have a global as well as a national practical effect, the assessment regime needs to conform to national and accepted international regulations and observe fundamental principles in bioethics and public sector ethics, such as integrity, access, autonomy and choice. Such a pro-active approach might lead to improved collaborations, to constructive communication channels and to enriched and more mutually acceptable futures.
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