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Towards a global code of ethics for modern foods and agricultural biotechnology

Gesche, Astrid H., Haslberger, Alexander, & Entsua-Mensah, RoseEmma Mamaa (2004) Towards a global code of ethics for modern foods and agricultural biotechnology. In De Tavernier, J & Aerts, S (Eds.) Science, Ethics and Technology: Conference Proceedings. EURSAFFE 2004, 5th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Foods Ethics. Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, pp. 125-128.

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Abstract

The paper introduces a ‘Global Code of Ethics for Modern Food and Agricultural Biotechnology’, where the implementation of such a code is timely.

A global, rather than a local or national, a specific, rather than a generic or industry-based code of ethics is a new concept that arises from a realization that conflicts emanating from divergent values, interests and capacities cannot be resolved on the basis of scientific and economic power and reasoning alone. They need to be addressed holistically by embedding the economic and scientific within a strong socio-ethical framework that provides space for fair and open dialogue between partners.

Building on ethical objectives proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2003 and by others and observing internationally agreed CODEX Alimentarius safety regulations, the socio-ethical framework rests on five mutually supportive ethical principals that are universal and transcend national and individual boundaries. The ethical principals reflect the expectations of an emergent civic society that increasingly insists on accurate and accessible information that is transparent and open to scrutiny, is based on broad stakeholder participation and societal dialogue, and provides effective mechanisms for safe-guarding choice and self-determination.

Public commitment to ethical conduct is paramount for a modern food biotechnology that has global ambitions, but which can easily be fractured by local or social incompatibilities. Working within the boundaries of a Global Code of Ethics might avert such fracturing. Abiding by a small number of strong ethical principles is seen as crucial for unlocking the long-term future potentials of a modern food biotechnology industry, whose goal it is to contribute to world food security, an increased level of human nutrition and a well-managed, healthy global environment.

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ID Code: 6569
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author a.gesche@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Applied Ethics not elsewhere classified (220199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000) > MEDICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY (100400)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Catholic University of Leuven
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 00:32

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