Ethics and genetic engineering – lessons to be learned from GM foods
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Attempts to introduce GM foods in Europe have prompted a major conflict that may now well be beyond resolution. This raises the question whether GM foods have a future in Europe. This outcome can mainly be seen as a result of the failure of industry, researchers and public authorities to address concerns prevailing among the general public. In order to avoid similar controversies arising over other applications of gene technology a dialogue respecting other positions and values needs to be promoted. The aim of the paper is to use GM foods as case story. On the basis of quantitative and qualitative studies, an in-depth understanding of the concerns of the general public regarding GM food is provided. Furthermore, it is shown how those wanting to promote GM food failed to consider these concerns. At the end of the paper an attempt is made to spell out the general lessons to be learnt from this case.
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