Bioethics versus Biotechnology Cover Image

Bioetika versus biotehnologija
Bioethics versus Biotechnology

Author(s): Željko Kaluđerović, Sonja Antonić
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Naučnoistraživački institut »Ibn Sina«
Keywords: bioethics;; biotechnology; GMOs; controversies; caution; biodiversity; nature; “otherness”

Summary/Abstract: During the last nearly fifteen years biotechnology, genetic engineering, transgenic organisms or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been raising numerous controversies. In the scientific sphere, genetic engineering and GMOs represent some kind of a challenge for geneticists, breeders and physicians, in philosophy they are being studied by bioethicists and agricultural ethicists. Ecologists are interested in the interconnections between new technology and environment protection. For multinational companies they represent a potential source of huge profits, and for certain governments they represent an instrument for strategic control of food production within their countries as well as internationally. Taking into consideration opinions of both proponents and opponents of this “revolutionary” method, authors are at the standing point that we should not a priori reject new and insufficiently studied technologies, but that in this particular case it is necessary to be extremely cautious, actually that from (bio)ethical point of view only those GMO investigations limited to scientific purposes are justified, with all due precautiousness. Also, authors are of the opinion that this region and also Europe as a whole in this moment do not need transgenic organisms, either in agricultural production or in the food chain. Arguments for this statement are found primarily in the potential problems that intentional breeding of GMOs might inflict upon the human health and upon the environment. Namely, if borders of individual species are not overstepped and if their endogenous traits are made stronger, the potential risk of causing irreparable damage for both present and future generations which may be brought by changed biological succession will be reduced, actually one of the four fundamental bioethical principles will be applied and that is the nonmaleficence. Finally, further intentional decreasing of biodiversity should not be allowed, which means that it is necessary to respect as much as it is possible the complexity of the nature, its autonomy and “otherness”.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 52-53
  • Page Range: 93-106
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Bosnian