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Labeling Genetically Modified FoodThe Philosophical and Legal Debate$
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Paul Weirich

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326864

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326864.001.0001

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A Scientific Perspective on Labeling Genetically Modified Food

A Scientific Perspective on Labeling Genetically Modified Food

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 A Scientific Perspective on Labeling Genetically Modified Food
Source:
Labeling Genetically Modified Food
Author(s):

Michael W. Pariza

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326864.003.0001

This chapter begins by considering how lawyers, chemists and biologists might define “food,” and how each perspective relates to the development of a rational food regulation program. The adjectives “novel,” “biotechnology‐derived” and “genetically‐modified,” are discussed in light of a food biotechnology continuum that began when humans first farmed crops and domesticated animals. The scientific basis for evaluating the safety of GM foods is discussed, and ecological considerations are addressed. The experience regarding the introduction of a GM tomato product in the United Kingdom by J. Sainsbury and Safeway stores is recounted. It is evident that science can help sort out the environmental and human health safety issues, but cannot settle philosophical and legal disputes that deal with matters beyond those that can be tested using the scientific method.

Keywords:   food regulation, novel food, biotechnology‐derived food, genetically‐modified food, safety evaluation, ecological considerations, J. Sainsbury and Safeway stores, scientific method

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