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The Ethics of Artificial Selection and Genetic Modification of Plants

By Freya Armstrong, Lasse Faber Børgesen, Anders Pihl Gierløff, Louise Justesen, Sebastian Niemeier, Monica Sandgaard and Ida Mathilde Steensgaard

Abstract

Artificial selection and genetic modification are both methods which are used to maximize crop profit. The recent years’ development in the genetic engineering sector has made it possible to transfer a specific trait from one organism to another. The development has caused a widespread ethical debate on the subject. This study examines two different cases based on genetic modification and artificial selection of plants respectively. The aim of this study is to determine, which ethics participants in the debate use to promote their respective cause. This is achieved by thoroughly analysing the respective arguments. Based on an analysis and a discussion this study concludes that the two methods are similar, seen from an ethical perspective, since both methods use utilitarian and deontology ethical arguments. Based on the analysis, an ethical basis for assessing genetic modification as more or less right than artificial selection has not been found. Despite the ethical similarities, the public opinion on the two methods vary significantly, as the scepticism towards genetic modification is far greater than towards artificial selection

Topics: Genmodifikation, Kunstig selektion, Risikovurdering, Pligtetik, Nytteetik
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:rudar.ruc.dk:1800/10311

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