Chapter

Genetic Manipulation: How to Strike the Right Balance between Technology and Respect for Human Rights

Souheil El-Zein

in Realizing Utopia

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691661
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738593 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691661.003.0036
Genetic Manipulation: How to Strike the Right Balance between Technology and Respect for Human Rights

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There has been a rapid increase in scientific and technological advances in the areas of genetic manipulation and genetic engineering or biotechnology in the past thirty years, and there is still a great deal that remains to be discovered. Although this fast-growing technology, mainly applied to medicines and foodstuffs, has been promoted for its potential benefit for welfare and growth in the field of life sciences and the economy, it poses considerable risks (to biodiversity, human health, the environment, etc.) on which research is still scarce and thus has raised regulatory challenges under both regional and international law. This chapter considers the reaction of international law to those challenges. The evaluation of the impact of the treatment of biotechnology under international law requires a plurality of approaches and different levels of inquiry, depending on the fundamental legal, social, and cultural distinction between human genetic resources and other genetic resources (plants and animals), even if the gene of animals and human beings are scientifically similar.

Keywords: genetic manipulation; genetic engineering; international law; biotechnology

Chapter.  7868 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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