1. What are the ethical issues in this case? The ethical issues in this case revolve around the consumption of genetically modified (GM) foods. On one side of the argument, supporters argue that risk should be judged once significant scientific research has been conducted. In the meantime, these crops should be made available to because of their higher per acre yields and reduced need for pesticides and herbicides. These increased yields could assist in feeding the many hungry people of the world. On the other hand, non-supporters are against wide spread distribution until further long-term studies have been concluded.
The opponent’s question: the effects on the environment; dangers to wildlife and plants; how it will affect the food chain; control of the gene flow.
2. Do you think that either group, pro-GM or anti-GM foods, is correct while the other group is wrong?
If so, what reasoning do you give for supporting the position of one group over the other? Is it possible for both to be right? What ethical concepts help you decide? I do not believe either one group is “right or wrong”. The two groups both pose strong arguments and support valid reasoning behind their beliefs.
As stated in the above answer, the pro-GMers argue that the food can be grown in bulk supplying the hungry with food. The anti-GMers argue that we need not rush to disperse these experimental foods produced without further research and observed consequences. Although the government states that GM crops are similar to non-GM crops and pose no risk to the consumer, environmentalist groups say these conclusions are incorrect and there is not enough supporting evidence to base these statements.
3. Is there any way to bridge the gap between these groups?
If so, what would the advantages and disadvantages be? I do not believe there will ever be much bridging between pro-GM and anti-GM groups. The two will settle their difference once concrete evidence has been concluded that the crops/organisms are safe or not.
4. If you were crafting GMO public policy, what would you recommend?
The public policy surrounding GMO would have to stress the importance of ethical concerns and focus on establishing a regulatory framework. In doing so, this would reduce constraints on the US and UK and lessen the public debate on ethical and social challenges.
Specialist and experts would continuously assess production and safety, while in depth research would prove safe consumption on a long-term basis.
5. Do hybrid seeds represent as serious a concern as that represented by GM foods?
What policy would you recommend for hybrid seeds and vegetables? Hybrid seeds are not genetically modified in a lab, but are modified from cross-pollination. The seeds produce uniform plants, resulting in larger yields. The only problem with hybrid seeds cannot be used each year, and have to be purchased annually.
In the text, the Monsanto donated 475 tons of seeds to the Haitians after the devastating earthquake. The farmers were made because they knew they would have to rely on the company year after year to continue their crops. Hybrid seeds and vegetables should be as strictly regulated and monitored as GM foods. The highest quality seeds should be adequately supplied to the farmer in a timely manner at a reasonable price. The government should ensure that essential infrastructure is maintained to ensure beneficial agriculture and economic development.