Last changed: 19 June 2013

Mistra Biotech Workshop

Ethical Issues in New Biotechnology in Agriculture

September 11, 2013. Uppsala, Sweden

This one-day workshop involves invited speakers plus selected submitted papers. We aim at intensive discussions and exchange on current ethical issues in biotechnology between scholars from the fields of e.g. philosophy, agrarian sciences, economics, ethics, political science, and sociology.

Biotechnologically developed crops are no longer solely focused on agronomic traits, but also on allegedly environmentally beneficial characteristics or consumer health benefits (see for instance the clip on the ‘GI potato’). Also new technologies make it unclear what is to count as a genetically modified organism, both legally and ontologically. Nature and naturalness are still important categories in the discussions about agriculture and ethics. Relatedly, the organic farming movement is ambivalent towards biotechnology, with some regarding it as a possibility and others as a (mere) threat.




   9:00    Welcome and intro   
  9:30   A pragmatist philosopher's reflection on GMOs  
      Invited speaker: Lisa Heldke, Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, USA  
        - Commentator: Barbro Fröding, KTH   
  10:20   Coffee  


  Freedom of cropping and the good life: moral philosophy and the deep conflict between the organic movement and the biotech industry over cross-contamination  
      Dane Scott, Mansfield Ethics and Public Affairs Program, University of Montana, Missoula, USA  
  11:25   Naturalness, and its moral relevance  
      Jan Deckers, Bioethics, Newcastle Unversity, UK  
  12:00   Lunch  


  Conceptual framework for ex-ante evaluation at the micro/macro level of GM crops with health benefits. An application to Folate Biofortified Rice in China  
      Invited speaker: Hans De Steur, Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Belgium  
       - Commentator: Ashkan Pakseresht, SLU   


  Agricultural biotechnology, ethics, and governance: reflecting on EFSA’s public consultations on risk assessment for GM animals  
      Sarah Hartley & Kate Millar, Applied Bioethics, University of Nottingham, UK  
  14:25   Coffee  
  14:45   Is genetically modified food unnatural?  
      Invited speaker: Helena Siipi, Philosophy, University of Turku, Finland  
       - Commentator: Payam Moula, KTH
  15.45   End of workshop  



If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please contact Per Sandin +46 (0)18673342



This workshop is a satellite event to the11th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics: 

EurSafe 2013 - The Ethics of Consumption: The Citizen, the Market, and the Law

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