GMOs, biotechnology pose challenge for international relations

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Just look at genetically modified foods. In the US, GMOs are regarded, at least by regulators, as perfectly safe for human consumption. But France, Germany and many other European and African nations have altogether banned the sale of genetically modified crops, considering them either insufficiently tested or unsafe. These restrictions affect trade, market prices, and the expansion of the global food supply. How could one set of global laws possibly govern both ideologies?

“I’m skeptical about the ability of an international body to reflect the very different conditions and … cultures of different countries,” Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford, told Gizmodo….

Greely said he couldn’t imagine the US and EU ever agreeing on regulations for genetic modification.

“When countries want different things,” Greely said, “international bodies typically end up being ineffective, often with mandates sufficiently vague that everyone could agree to them but that no one will be particularly bound by them.”

Many of the issues surrounding new genetic engineering technologies are political. In African nations such as Zimbabwe, for example, a large part of the rejection of GMOs was tied to anti-Western conspiracy theories circulated by ruling parties.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Do We Need an International Body to Regulate Genetic Engineering?

  • Wackes Seppi

    « But France, Germany and many other European … nations have altogether banned the sale of genetically modified crops, considering them either insufficiently tested or unsafe. »

    False on two counts. We have huge importations of GM soybeans, plus some corn. What is « banned » is cultivation.