International Summer School - BEYOND THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE? Ethical, legal and societal aspects of genome editing in agriculture

1. Oktober 2016 - 1. Oktober 2018

Recent advances in Genome Editing for agricultural purposes pose general questions in a new light: How should we regulate new breeding technologies for plants and livestock in a scientific way? What are the legal, societal and ethical backgrounds of the current food labelling practice in different countries, especially in Germany and the United Kingdom? Is food labelling an appropriate strategy to cope with uncertainty in risk discussions? Which alternatives could be suitable to respond to the specific protection needs of people, animals and the environment? Do we have to re-interpret the way the precautionary principle is understood in current risk assessments?

The international summer school will analyse and discuss corresponding scientific, legal and ethical questions not least by comparing the ongoing debates in Germany and the United Kingdom. This comparison is of particular interest since the political discussions, ethical evaluations and the juridical frameworks in the two states can be considered as counterparts. In addition, contrasting the situation in Europe and in the USA will reveal the arguments offered in favour of and against the need for labelling.

The summer school will discuss current debates about the use of Genome Editing in agriculture through an international and multi-disciplinary dialogue. The aim is to develop recommendations for more consistent ethical evaluation and legal framing. For these purposes, the summer school invites young scientists from the fields of molecular biology and agricultural sciences as well as politics, law, sociology and philosophy/ethics.

Funded by German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Organisers: Stephan Schleissing, Christian Dürnberger, Sebastian Pfeilmeier

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