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CAB eBooks

Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Ethical tensions from new technology: the case of agricultural biotechnology.

Book cover for Ethical tensions from new technology: the case of agricultural biotechnology.


This book is an exploration into ethical tensions that new technology creates, with a particular focus on agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) food. There are four main arenas where new technologies generally, and agricultural biotechnology in particular, create ethical tensions, fault lines and pressure points. These are: public opinion and public interest; policy and regulati...


Chapter 5 (Page no: 69)

Three models of public opinion and public interest for agricultural biotechnology: precautionary, conventional and accommodative.

The normative research question addressed in this chapter is whether the public interest means agricultural biotechnology should lead (and thus reshape) public opinion or wait for public opinion to become sufficiently supportive. The chapter considers three models of how public opinion is linked to regulatory approaches and reviews examples of each. For example, the chapter shows how European regulatory systems are precautionary and that public opinion leads and biotechnology research follows. Many agriculturally oriented countries are conventional; while not being anti-GMO, public opinion leads over new technology research. In the USA, regulation is accommodative, so that agricultural biotechnology leads and public opinion follows. The chapter explains how ethical tensions are affected by each regulatory model, and suggests that regulatory models can change, by, for instance, moving from precautionary to conventional to accommodative.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 12) Ethical tensions from a 'science alone' approach in communicating genetic engineering science to consumers. Author(s): Kolodinsky, J.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 26) Against the (GM) grain: ethical tensions and agrobiotechnology activism in the USA. Author(s): Jones, B. M.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 39) The use and abuse of the term 'GMO' in the 'common weal rhetoric' against the application of modern biotechnology in agriculture. Author(s): Aerni, P.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 53) Collaborating with the enemy? A view from down under on GM research partnerships. Author(s): Ankeny, R. A. Bray, H. J. McKinley, K. A.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 83) Genetically modified organisms in food: ethical tensions and the labeling initiative. Author(s): Strauss, D. M.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 97) Ethical tensions in regulation of agricultural biotechnology and their impact on policy outcomes: evidence from the USA and India. Author(s): Kolady, D. E. Srivastava, S. K.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 112) Technological pragmatism: navigating the ethical tensions created by agricultural biotechnology. Author(s): Scott, D.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 126) Absolute hogwash: assemblage and the new breed of animal biotechnology. Author(s): MacDonald, K. M.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 137) Nature-identical outcomes, artificial processes: governance of CRISPR/cas genome editing as an ethical challenge. Author(s): Pirscher, F. Bartkowski, B. Theesfeld, I. Timaeus, J.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 151) New technology, cognitive bias and ethical tensions in entrepreneurial commercialization: the case of CRISPR. Author(s): Ng, D. James, H. S., Jr.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 162) New technology, ethical tensions and the mediating role of translational research. Author(s): Valdivia, C. James, H. S., Jr. Quiroz, R.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2018
  • ISBN
  • 9781786394644
  • Record Number
  • 20183239075