Genetically Modified Organisms and Human Genetic Engineering: How Should National Policy-Makers Respond to Perceived Risks Beyond National Borders?
24 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017
Date Written: January 9, 2017
This paper examines the risks posed by biotechnologies: genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and human genetic engineering (HGE). The two biotechnologies generate considerable risks transcending borders, giving rise to adverse implications in developing countries, which is the focus of this paper. Specifically, the paper addresses the effects of GMOs on small-scale farmers’ livelihood and increasing labour exploitation in the stem cell industry due to HGE. What is deemed progressive scientific advancement and technological innovation, in developed communities, is found to be detrimental and harmful for the poorer population around the world. This paper reveals how such biotechnologies have become a tool for the powerful to essentially exploit the powerless, hence national policy-makers should be attuned to this disparity and attempt to eradicate it. Various ways of responding to the risks are suggested, in particular, through legitimising or initiating corporate social responsibility (CSR), in the case of GMOs, and applying the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA), with regards to HGE. The paper concludes that policy-makers and possibly the international community, should aim to mitigate the overarching risk of global inequality which is exacerbated by the biotechnologies discussed.
Keywords: scientific advancement, technological innovation, biotechnologies, genetically modified organisms, human genetic engineering, small-scale farmers’ livelihoods, labour exploitation; stem cell industry, developing countries
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