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Sustainable governance and management of food systems

Ethical perspectives

Published: 2019  Pages: 364

eISBN: 978-90-8686-892-6 | ISBN: 978-90-8686-341-9

Book Type: Conference Proceedings

How genome editing should be understood and regulated are currently topics of intense debate. On the assumption that food is a primary way in which we negotiate human/nature relationships, the paper focuses particularly on new techniques for genome editing that aim to contribute to sustainable food systems. These techniques can be applied to any type of organism and are claimed to be easier, cheaper, more precise than earlier forms of biotechnology. The techniques are also claimed to be more natural because they do not necessarily involve the insertion of genes from other species. In this paper, this claim of naturalness will be discussed using a ‘multispecies’ framework for understanding organisms. This reveals how claims about a techniques’ degree of naturalness depends on cultural narratives about what nature, organisms and species are rather than empirical knowledge on the techniques themselves. The paper’s aim is to advance knowledge that can help decision-makers develop biotechnology policy and regulations to meet the challenge of developing sustainable food systems.

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