– Monsanto & GMO Ethical Issues –
What Ought To Be
Based on each of the factors and issues presented in this case, people have a right to know and a right to be informed on what they are actually purchasing and overall what they are putting into their bodies as well as the potential health risks. Yes, as stated in this case, there are many benefits to Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms, but what is known about the underlying health effects is little to none.
According to the European Union’s European Commission on Health and Consumers, GM foods and organism are to be labeled in order to provide the utmost safety for the populations. “In order to ensure that the development of modern biotechnology, and more specifically of GMOs, takes place in complete safety, the European Union has established a legal framework regulating genetically modified (GM) food and feed in the EU.
This framework pursues the global objective of ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health and welfare, environment and consumer interests, whilst ensuring that the internal market works effectively” (European Commission).
Clearly the EU sees the reality of GMOs and are taking the necessary precautions to keep the people not only aware, but also safe from potential conflicts. The technology is too premature and the welfare of the people is far more important than the potential benefits GMOs have to offer.
Looking at the issue of labeling with a Kantian or Rawlsian perspective may bring about the best way to solve the issue. Kant’s theory discusses using humanity as an end as opposed to a means to an end. Opponents and proponents of GMO’s would agree to labeling if it were a discreet yet clear labeling and if it weren’t used as a scare tactic to alarm consumers. We believe that everyone would agree to this. Through the Rawlsian perspective, this type of discreet yet clear labeling would reach an end that was mutually accepted by both GMO producers and consumers. This would be a just way of mandating labeling while considering the GMO companies position.
Applying the test of common sense in this case would approve the mandating of discrete labeling. It informs the consumer and allows the GMO companies to avoid a backlash of fear from consumers. In a recent Wall Street Journal Article, U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes & Beliefs 2013 Tracking Study, conducted by KIWI Magazine in partnership with OTA (Organic Trade Organization), show that 32 percent of parents who learned about GMOs in the news are significantly more likely to increase their organic purchases. The article continues to read,
“Families continue to cite their desire for healthful options, especially for their children, in choosing organic foods. The percentage of those claiming their primary reason is to avoid GMOs has now reached 22 percent–up from 17 percent in 2011. The leading reason given continues to be that parents desire to avoid pesticides and fertilizers (30 percent) and antibiotics or synthetic hormones (29 percent) in food they purchase for their families.” The OTA’s CEO and Executive Director Christine Bushway colludes with “It is important for parents to know they have a choice when buying food for their families.” Parents typically want the best for their children and strive to protect them in whatever way necessary. Whether organic or genetically modified, by parents being informed and aware of what they are feeding their children can give them peace of mind and satisfaction in regards to what their children are actually consuming.
Overall, this discrete labeling approach makes practical sense. Currently the GMO labeling issue is so convoluted that many products can get around having to label their products GMO. In June, Connecticut and Maine became the first states to pass a GMO labeling law. Washington State is currently trying to pass a bill for labeling as well. The non-labeling of GMO products violates basic consumer rights. In the consumer “Magna Carta” four basic rights (the consumers right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard) were given to consumers and by not labeling GMO products violates most of them. This is what ought to be.
Cite this What Are GMO Products
What Are GMO Products. (2017, Mar 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/monsanto-gmo-ethical-issues/