Recommended Reading: Legislation & Regulation

Highlighting interesting articles and papers that take a deeper look into current issues.

New plant breeding techniques – ethical considerations

Publication date: 01/03/2016

Even before the advent of modern genetic engineering, to many people it was important whether a plant was created “naturally” (usually under-stood as “using conventional cross-breeding techniques”) or “artificially” (usually understood as “genetically engineered or altered in a non-natural way”).

Put simplistically, “natural” is associated with “better” and “artificial” with “worse”, or vice versa, depending on the viewpoint. Regardless of the connotations given to “natural” and “artificial”, these notions involve moral evaluations. Although often implicit only, such evaluations have an influence on the risk assessment of NPBTs.

This report critically considers this differentiation and its implicit effect on the discussion of risk as well as other urgent issues around NPBTs.

Resource type: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Addressing socio-economic and ethical considerations in biotechnology governance: the potential of a new politics of care

Publication date: 01/06/2017

There is a growing demand to incorporate social, economic and ethical considerations into biotechnology governance. However, there is currently little guidance available for understanding what this means or how it should be done.

A framework of care-based ethics and politics can capture many of the concerns maintaining a persistent socio-political conflict over biotechnologies and provide a novel way to incorporate such considerations into regulatory assessments. A care-based approach to ethics and politics has six key defining features.

These include: 1) a relational worldview, 2) an emphasis on the importance of context, 3) a recognition of the significance of dependence, 4) an analysis of power, including a particular concern for those most vulnerable, 5) a granting of weight to the significance of affect, and 6) an acknowledgment of an important role for narrative. This policy brief provides an overview of these defining features, illustrates how they can appear in a real world example and provides a list of guiding questions for assessing these features and advancing a politics of care in the governance of biotechnology

Resource type: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

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