Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Ethics of Nutrigenomics

  • Michiel Korthals
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_503-1


Nutrigenomics is the study of the relationship between genes and food; like all applied sciences, it develops through contact with society. Normative assumptions, embedded in the way researchers formulate aspects of nutrigenomics research, affect this contact. These assumptions may or may not be in alignment with currently held societal norms and values on food and health. To discuss the possible pros and cons of an alignment of nutrigenomics’ assumptions and those currently held in society, one needs to reflect ethically these assumptions. The prominent view on gene-based and customized nutrition embodies at least three normative concepts. First, food is exclusively interpreted in terms of disease prevention. Second, striving for health is interpreted as quantifying risks and preventing diseases through “positive” food–gene interactions. The third normative idea is that disease prevention by minimization of risks is an individual’s task. The thesis of this entry is that...


Good Life Food Choice Normative Assumption Life Worth Living Personalized Nutrition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Philosophy, Social SciencesWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands