A Framework for the Ethical Analysis of Novel Foods:The Ethical Matrix

Author: Mepham, B.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Volume 12, Number 2, 2000 , pp. 165-176(12)

Publisher: Springer

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The paper addresses the issue of how in democratic societies a procedure might be formulated to facilitate ethical judgements on modern biotechnologies used in food production. A framework for rational ethical analysis, the Ethical Matrix, is proposed. The Matrix adapts the principles described by Beauchamp and Childress for application to medical issues, to interest groups (e.g., producers, consumers, and the biotic environment) affected by these technologies. The use of the Matrix is illustrated by applying it to an example of a ``novel food,'' viz., a form of genetically modified maize.

Keywords: Ethical principles; Rawls; genetically engineered maize; novel foods

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Centre for Applied Bioethics, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leics LE12 5RD UK E-mail: ben.mepham@nottingham.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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