Practical moral codes in the transgenic organism debate

Abstract
In one study funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, people from North Dakota were interviewed to discover which moral principles they use in evaluating the morality of transgenic organisms and their introduction into markets. It was found that although the moral codes the human subjects employed were very similar, their views on transgenics were vastly different. In this paper, the codes that were used by the respondents are developed, compared to that of the academically composed Belmont Report, and then modified to create the more practical Common Moral Code. At the end, it is shown that the Common Moral Code has inherent inconsistency flaws that might be resolvable, but would require extensive work on the definition of terms and principles. However, the effort is worthwhile, especially if it results in a common moral code that all those involved in the debate are willing to use in negotiating a resolution to their differences.
Keywords Belmont report  GMO  moral code  moral principle  practical morality  transgenic organisms
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