The need for more inclusive deliberation on ethics and governance in agricultural and food biotechnology

Catherine Kendig*, Theresa Selfa, Paul Thompson, Raymond Anthony, Wenda Bauchspies, Gwendolyn Blue, Ashmita Das, Rebecca Harrison, Chris Henke, Shan Jin, Jennifer Kuzma, Forbes Lipschitz, Kurt Richter, Morgan Ruelle, Timothy Silberg, Bruno Takahashi

*Corresponding author for this work

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An inclusive and socially legitimate governance structure is absent to address concerns over new agricultural biotechnologies. Establishing an agricultural bioethics commission devoted to inclusive deliberation on ethics and governance in agricultural and food biotechnology is urgent. Highlighting the social and ethical dimensions of current agricultural bioengineering disputes in the food system, we discuss how a nationally recognized policy forum could improve decision-making and increase public understanding of the issues. We clarify ways the concepts that are used to categorize food and frame governance of food affect consumer choices, and how dissemination of information and the mode of dissemination can contribute to social inequities. We cite the record of medically-oriented bioethic commissions and the history of international bioethic commissions in support of our argument, and end by discussing what such a commission dedicated to agriculture and food issues could reasonably be expected to achieve.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2304383
Number of pages12
Journal Journal of Responsible Innovation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • bioethics commissions
  • agricultural governance
  • food bioengineering disputes
  • agricultural bioethics
  • agricultural biotechnology regulation
  • agricultural epistemologies

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