Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 549834
Title Ethical distinctions between different kinds of plant breeding
Author(s) Myskja, B.K.; Schouten, H.J.; Gjerris, M.
Source In: Know your food / Dumitras, Diana Elena, Jitea, Ionel Mugurel, Arts, Stef, Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862641 - p. 95 - 100.
Department(s) Plant Breeding
Publication type Contribution in proceedings
Publication year 2015
Abstract The article discusses whether there are ethically significant distinctions between different forms of plant breeding. We distinguish different forms of plant breeding according to the kind of technology and degree of human intervention compared to plant reproduction occurring in nature. According to the dominant scientific view, the main concerns are issues of biosafety that are dealt with through risk assessment. Thus, the techniques are ethically equivalent and only the resulting product is of interest. In parts of the societal and philosophical discourse, however, there are attempts to distinguish ethically between these approaches, often relying on ambiguous concepts such as ‘naturalness’. We argue that a virtue-based approach can be used to explicate the assumptions behind such distinctions that are relevant for scientific and public discourse, and support a conclusion that there are ethical differences between plant breeding methods. The framework can contribute to an improved dialogue between the scientific community and the wider public by making the scepticism towards GM-technology more intelligible.
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