Global modern food biotechnologies : risks and benefits of using an ethical matrix for participatory, holistic developments of policy and practice

Gesche, Astrid H. & Haslberger, Alexander (2005) Global modern food biotechnologies : risks and benefits of using an ethical matrix for participatory, holistic developments of policy and practice. In Gardiner, Dave & Scott, Katie (Eds.) United Nations/Queensland Government International Conference on Engaging Communities, 14-17 August 2005, Brisbane, QLD.

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Sound science and regulatory measures in risk assessment appear to be insufficient to address the public’s disquiet regarding genetically modified foods. In response, international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have begun to embrace a more holistic approach that now considers the scientific, regulatory and local requirements as well as the social and ethical impact of modern food biotechnologies.

One enduring difficulty in incorporating ethical and social issues in policy development has been its procedure. Of particular concern is the question of how to manage an exploration of often complex and controversial topics in such a way that the different voices and social and ethical norms of citizens and stakeholders are taken into account without unduly stifling or endangering good policy development and decision-making.

This paper discusses the benefits and risks of one emerging framework that can be constructed around four mutually supportive, universal ethical principles set out in an ethical matrix. A systematic approach can lead to deliberations that are rational and inclusive, while being at the same time open and collaborative. Such a framework might compare well with existing scientific risk management practices.

Taken together, an integration of both the scientific and the ethical-social could be of paramount importance for a modern food biotechnology that has global ambitions, but which can easily be fractured by local or social incompatibilities without public participation and support.

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ID Code: 4558
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Integrated Risk Assessment, Biotechnology, Ethical Matrix, Public Policy Development, Ethical Principles, Code of Ethics, Genetically Modified Food
ISBN: 1920719032
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600)
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 > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 The Authors
Deposited On: 02 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 14:32

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