Ethics and Transgenic Crops: a Review
This article represents a review of some of the ethical dilemmas that have arisen as a result of the development and deployment of transgenic crop plants. The potential for transgenic crops to alleviate human hunger and the possible effects on human health are discussed. Risks and benefits to the environment resulting from genetic engineering of crops for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses are considered, in addition to effects on biodiversity. The socio-economic impacts and distribution of benefits from transgenic technologies are reviewed. Fundamental issues of man s relationship with nature and the environment, and theological matters are also addressed. An almost unprecedented amount of discussion has been stimulated on the merits and demerits of genetic engineering of crop plants, and has divided both the public and scientific communities. The arguments for and against transgenics are invariably based on visions of the new technology from widely different ethical perspectives.