Future technological developments concerning food, agriculture, and the environment face the conflict of social legitimation from a skeptical public and media, in the wake of the crises of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, genetic modified (GM) food, and foot and mouth disease in the UK. Key ethical issues were ignored by the bioindustry, regulators, and the government, leaving a legacy of distrust. The paper examines agricultural biotechnology in terms of a social contract, whose conditions would have to be fulfilled to gain acceptance of novel applications. Various current and future GM applications are evaluated against these conditions. Success would depend critically on how far a shared vision can be found with the public. To reestablish trust, significant changes are identified in the planning and pursuit of biotechnology.
|Publication Title||Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics|
|Author Address||Society, Religion and Technology Project, Church of Scotland, John Knox House, 45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org|
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