Genetically Engineered Animals and the Ethics of Food Labeling

LABELING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD: THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND LEGAL DEBATE, pp. 63-87, Paul Weirich, ed., Oxford University Press, 2007

43 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2010 Last revised: 11 Mar 2014

Robert Streiffer

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Philosophy; University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Medicine and Public Health

Alan Rubel

University of Wisconsin, Madison - School of Library and Information Studies; University of Wisconsin, Madison - Program in Legal Studies

Date Written: October 1, 2007

Abstract

The current debate about labeling genetically engineered (GE) food focuses on food derived from GE crops, neglecting food derived from GE animals. This is not surprising, as GE animal products have not yet reached the market. Participants in the debate may also be assuming that conclusions about GE crops automatically extend to GE animals. But there are two GE animals - the Enviropig and the AquAdvantage Bred salmon - that are approaching the market, animals raise more ethical issues than plants, and U.S. regulations treat animal products differently from crops. This paper therefore examines the specific question of whether there should be mandatory labeling on all food products derived from GE animals. We examine the likely regulatory pathways, salient differences between GE animals and GE crops, and relevant social science research on consumers’ attitudes. We argue that on any of the likely pathways, the relevant agency has a democratic obligation to require labeling for all GE animal food products.

Keywords: GMO, genetically engineered foods, enviropigs, AquAdvantage Salmon, genetically engineered animals, food labeling, consumer autonomy

Suggested Citation

Streiffer, Robert and Rubel, Alan, Genetically Engineered Animals and the Ethics of Food Labeling (October 1, 2007). LABELING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD: THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND LEGAL DEBATE, pp. 63-87, Paul Weirich, ed., Oxford University Press, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1633947

Robert Streiffer (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Philosophy ( email )

5185 Helen C. White Hall
600 North Park Street
Madison, WI 53706
United States

HOME PAGE: http://philosophy.wisc.edu/streiffer/

University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Medicine and Public Health ( email )

Madison, WI 53711
United States

Alan P. Rubel

University of Wisconsin, Madison - School of Library and Information Studies ( email )

4217 HC WHite
600 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Program in Legal Studies ( email )

4217 HC WHite
600 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

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