Social Implications

Ethical Issues: Developing Countries

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Some people have argued that bioethics are a western concept which is inappropriate for underdeveloped countries. Is this another form of colonialism? I believe it is not. Corporations and scientists are often the people making this argument, as it benefits them to encourage the use of GMOs in a global sense. By ignoring bioethics, control and colonialism are made possible (Shiva, 1997).
There are a number of issues which make genetic engineering problematic in developing countries.

1) It is often the seeds and blood of these countries that are taken, commercialized and patented.
2) Genetic engineering does not create an equal amount of benefits for all parties. Those who benefit, do so enormously, while those who do not are hit hard.
3) Needs of corporations do not reflect those of the people (Shiva, 1997).

As monocropping (bt corn & RR soybeans), cash crops and agribusiness have created many local problems around the world, genetic engineering threatens to compound these. Genetic engineering is also influential in international trade issues. Developing countries already have many limitations and the introduction of genetic engineering, with all its associated risks, threatens to compound already existing political, social and environmental problems- all for the benefit of corporations. Another problem is the development of terminator seeds, which create a dependency among farmers upon seed companies. Essentially, genetic engineering threatens to cause more problems and perpetuate the unequal distribution of wealth in the world.

Bioethics is not a form of colonialism, rather it is a philosophy that is appropriate for the world and especially developing countries.

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