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"first things first": application of Islamic principles of priority in the ethical assessment of genetically modified foods

By Isa Noor Munirah, Man Saadan

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Advancement of modern agricultural biotechnology has brought various potential benefits to humankind, but at the same time ethical concerns regarding some applications such as genetically modified foods (GMF) have been raised among the public. Several questions are being posed; should they utilize such applications to improve quality of their life, or should they refrain in order to save themselves from any associated risk? What are the ethical principles that can be applied to assess these applications? By using GMF as a case study, this paper discusses possible answers to these questions from Islamic perspective. Such answers are based on the understanding of the Islamic concept of maslahah (benefit) and mafsadah (harm) as well as the Islamic principles of priority. There is no specific GMF that has been declared as unlawful by Muslim scholars thus far. Nevertheless, they generally state that any GMF that contains unlawful substance is prohibited in Islam. Such statement can be understood since Islam puts highest priority to preserve shari' ah (Islamic law) which prescribes the lawful and unlawful things in human life. Priorities have also been given to preserve human health and environment therefore any GMF that may inflict harm on both entities is also considered as unlawful.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 27
Issue 5
Pages 857-870
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
Publisher Springer
Language English
Author Address Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.noormunirah@um.edu.my saadan@um.edu.my
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Noor Munirah, Isa; Saadan, Man (2015), ""first things first": application of Islamic principles of priority in the ethical assessment of genetically modified foods," http://habricentral.org/resources/46004.

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Tags
  1. Case Report
  2. Ethics
  3. Food economics
  4. Food science
  5. Genetically engineered foods
  6. Health
  7. Hygiene
  8. Life
  9. products
  10. quality
  11. Religions
  12. risk
  13. Social psychology and social anthropology
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed