03/01/2007 - The existing laws proposed for regulating food animal biotechnology require regulators to review genetically modified animals using scientific risk assessment protocols; they do not make provisions for regulators to take ethical or moral issues into consideration in decision making. Many observers feel that the ethical and moral issues must be addressed, however—and ideally in an open, public forum or forums—since these issues are of importance to consumers.
To discuss how ethical and moral issues relating to genetically engineered or cloned food animals could be addressed in the future, Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and Michigan State University co-sponsored a two-day workshop among diverse experts.
The 35 workshop participants included representatives from federal agencies, biotech companies, food retailing companies, consumer groups, animal welfare organizations, agricultural groups, non-U.S. regulatory agenices, and universities. The workshop was held in October 2006 at the offices of The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, DC.
The workshop was designed as “a conversation about future conversations” about ethical and moral issues relating to genetically engineered or cloned food animals. The agenda sought to focus on how and in what form should/could such discussions continue. It was less focused on what should be addressed in those future conversations. The scope of discussion was limited to include food animals and food fish that are genetically engineered or cloned for food production, pharmaceutical or industrial protein production, or xenotransplantation.
Read the full Ethics and Biotechnology Workshop Report.