Defying Nature: The Ethical Implications of Genetically Modified Plants

Journal of Food Law & Policy, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-37, 2007

37 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2008  

Debra M. Strauss

Fairfield University - Charles F. Dolan School of Business

Abstract

This article explores the ethical implications of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food that originate from plants that have been genetically altered through bioengineering. Despite noble goals to increase the food supply on the planet, biotechnology has not been applied towards that end. Instead, companies have developed "terminator" seeds that cannot reproduce, forcing farmers and impoverished developing countries to buy additional seeds, and herbicide resistant plants engineered to survive the spraying of pesticides. From an ethical perspective, the problem is not that this technology exists, but how it is being used-for the greater good or for potentially greatest harm to human health and the environment? Ultimately these ethical issues cause us to reflect on the current regulatory scheme in the United States. Does the failure to require labeling and monitoring violate our responsibility to others by not allowing consumers a choice as to whether they knowingly and willingly assume the risks of ingesting GMOs?

Keywords: ethics, international law, international trade, food and drug law, genetically modified organisms, bioengineering, biotechnology

Suggested Citation

Strauss, Debra M., Defying Nature: The Ethical Implications of Genetically Modified Plants. Journal of Food Law & Policy, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-37, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1302506

Debra M. Strauss (Contact Author)

Fairfield University - Charles F. Dolan School of Business ( email )

1073 N. Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
United States
203-254-4000 ext. 3160 (Phone)

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