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Technology neutrality and regulation of agricultural biotechnology

Conference paper
Authors Per Sandin
Christian Munthe
Karin Edvardsson Björnberg
Published in Professionals in food chains: ethics, rules and responsibility. EurSafe 2018, Vienna, Austria 13 – 16 June 2018 / edited by: Svenja Springer, Herwig Grimm
ISBN 978-90-8686-321-1
Publisher Wageningen Academic Publishers
Place of publication Wageningen, Netherlands
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Language en
Keywords bioethics, biolaw, biotechnology, ethics, gene editing, gene technology, GMO, law, policy
Subject categories Technology and social change, Law and Society, Environmental law, Bioethics, Plant Biotechnology, Genetics and Breeding, Other Agricultural Sciences not elsewhere specified, Ethics, Practical philosophy


Agricultural biotechnology, in particular genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is subject to regulation in many areas of the world, not least in the European Union (EU). A number of authors have argued that those regulatory processes are unfair, costly, and slow and that regulation therefore should move in the direction of increased ‘technology neutrality’. The issue is becoming more pressing, especially since new biotechnologies such as CRISPR increasingly blur the regulatory distinction between GMOs and non-GMOs. This paper offers a definition of technology neutrality, uses the EU GMO regulation as a starting point for exploring technology neutrality, and presents distinctions between variants of the call for technology neutral GMO regulation in the EU.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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