Category Archives: GMO

Scrutinizing the Impact of GMOs Through the Prism of Human Rights (R. Patowary)

Author

Rashmi Patowary

Keywords

Earth Jurisprudence, Food, Genetically Modified Organisms, Health, Human Rights

Abstract

Necessity is the mother of invention. The booming population triggered the need to carve out efficient ways to feed the growing millions. Biotechnology answered this need with the creation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). They are organisms whose genetic make up has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Such alterations enabled to create agricultural products (both plants and animals) that were resistant to diseases, harsh seasonal changes and had better nutritional qualities. Thus, it improved food both in quantitative and qualitative terms. But under the garb of these numerous benefits, one should not ignore the potential risks, which these organisms pose to the human health and the environment at large. GMOs provide a risk to human health as it can cause allergic reactions. It also causes significant loss to biodiversity and dismantle the sensitive balance of a food chain.

Human Rights, the inalienable rights bestowed to mankind, preserving its dignity and sanctity faces dilemma in the midst of the benefits and risks of GMOs. The human right to ‘foodand the human right to ‘health’ are quite relevant in this context. For instance, the benefit of condensing better nutritional qualities in food through the creation of GMOs apparently seems to protect the right to food. But, taking note of the possible threats of allergic reactions (the nature and gravity of which, is not known) and loss to biodiversity, may pose a long-term hidden challenge to the human right to health. Furthermore, human beings are an entity of the ever-changing and mysterious nature. The health and strength of our lives are connected to that of the earth. Thus, a loss of biodiversity and disruption of the sensitive food chain will also have repercussions on our right to food as well. The triggering of genetic mutation will also have effects upon other living organisms, which challenges the greater cohesion inherent in nature. This paper makes a humble attempt to study and analyze subtle but pertinent observations.

The Cartegena Protocol is the first and main international legal instrument regarding biosafety. It broadly covers protection of biodiversity and to regulate the manufacture, import and export of GMO based food products. It emphasis upon the concept of precautionary principle and introduces ‘labeling’ of food containing GMOs. The paper attempts to search solutions and evaluate the efficacy of solutions in existence in the International Legal Framework. The paper will also briefly evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of domestic legislations of India with regard to biosafety. It will try to analyze and evaluate the scales of justice in the light of earth jurisprudence.

Citation

(2014) 07/06 OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development 79-86

Paper

Scrutinizing the Impact of GMOs Through the Prism of Human Rights

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The Intersection between Constitution, Human Rights and the Environment: The French Charter for the Environment and the New Ex Post Constitutional Control in France (D. Marrani)

Author

David Marrani

Keywords

legal orders, French Constitution, environmental rights, human rights, French Constitutional Council, GMO, constitutional rights, green constitution

Abstract

There is a lot to be said about how environmental issues are reshaping the way we are living in the twenty-first century. Not only are those issues affecting the human race, but they are also affecting legal orders, sometimes even in their most conservative ‘parts’. The Charter for the Environment was integrated in the French Fifth Republic Constitution in 2005. It became the legal basis of many unforeseen changes, particularly the important recognition of its value by the ‘public law’ courts. Environmental rights seem to have become human rights after the 2008 landmark decision of the French Constitutional Council on the constitutionality of the statute on GMOs. In that decision, the Council reaffirmed the constitutional value of every right and duty defined in the Charter. The impact of this statement has recently been amplified with the introduction by the 2008 constitutional amendment of an ex post constitutional control. It is, therefore, time to consider whether the rights declared in the Charter are becoming ‘true’ constitutional rights.

Citation

(2014) 16 Environmental Law Review 107-121

Paper

The Intersection between Constitution, Human Rights and the Environment: The French Charter for the Environment and the New Ex Post Constitutional Control in France

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DEFRA’s coexistence proposals for GM crops: a recipe for confrontation? (C. Rodgers)

Author

Christopher Rodgers

Keywords

Environment, Compensation, Environmental policy, Genetically modified organisms, Private nuisance, Risk assessment

Abstract

Comments on coexistence measures proposed by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to allow genetically modified (GM) and conventional crops to be grown alongside each other. Reviews the EC position on such measures and evaluates the projected liability mechanism, including the shortcomings of the compensation regime for GM contamination. Examines the implications of commercial GM production, such as the future role of private nuisance claims, the limited redress for long term losses and public distrust of the risk assessment process.

Citation

(2008) 10(1) Environmental Law Review 1-8

Paper

DEFRA’s coexistence proposals for GM crops: a recipe for confrontation?

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Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet (S. Nottingham)

Author

Stephen Nottingham

Keywords

Agricultural Improvements, Genetic Engineering, Increasing Yields, Herbicide Resistant Crops, Insect Resistant Crops, Modified Insect Baculovirus, Designer Food, Engineered Plants, Ecological Risks, Risks to Human Health, Ethical and Moral Issues, Patenting, Regulation, Genetically Modified Organisms, Food Products, Marketing Approval, Europe, Labelling, Impacts on the Third World

Abstract

The food that we eat is increasingly being produced using biotechnology. Genetically modified crops, which were first grown commercially in 1996, covered over 58 million hectares worldwide by 2002. Transgenic microbes, fish and animals are also being developed for food production purposes. Eat Your Genes describes the genetic engineering techniques used in agriculture. It explores the food industry‘s commercial motivations, why certain crop modifications have predominated, and the importance of patenting to the genetic engineering enterprise. Genetically modified (GM) food has entered our diet through a wide range of processed foodstuffs.

This book explains how crop segregation and labelling are central to the debate, and outlines the development of consumer resistance to the marketing of GM food in Europe. The potential health and ecological risks, the ethical issues, and the implications for both industrialized and developing countries are examined. The author argues that genetic engineering is still a long way from meeting its promises of feeding the world‘s hungry and contributing to a more eco-friendly agriculture.

The issues surrounding GM food affect us all. Consumer choice, health and safety, the environment, the freedom of traditional breeders to improve major food crops, and justice towards the Third World are all at stake. As the public debate over the desirability of GM food continues, this is the book to help you think through what is involved.

Citation

Stephen Nottingham, Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet (Zed Books, 2003)

Book

Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet

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Biomedical ethics: Muslim perspectives on genetic modification (F. Agha Al-Hayan)

Author

Fatima Agha Al-Hayan

Keywords

Insan (person human); insaniyyah (humanism, humanity humaneness); genetic modification (GM); genetically modified foods (GMF); genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Abstract

Technology pertaining to genetically modified foods has created an abundance of food and various methods to protect new products and enhance productivity. However, many scientists, economists, and humanitarians have been critical of the application of these discoveries. They are apprehensive about a profit-driven mentality that, to them, seems to propel the innovators rather than a poverty-elimination mentality that should be behind such innovations. The objectives should be to afford the most benefit to those in need and to prevent hunger around the world. Another major concern is the safety of genetically modified food. Muslims, as well as those in other religious communities, have been reactive rather than proactive. Muslims must connect scientific knowledge and ethical behavior based on faith. In Islam, there is no divide between the two. God has commanded us to seek knowledge and make discoveries to better our lives and our environment. We are trustees of this world and everything in it. The poor, the sick, and the wayfarers have a right to be fed and cared for. God reminds Muslims continuously that the earth and all the heavens belong to God; therefore, no one should feel hunger, no one should suffer or be prevented from sharing this bounty.

Citation

(2007) 42(1) Zygon(r), 153-162

Paper

Biomedical ethics: Muslim perspectives on genetic modification.

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