Assessing the Human Genome Project: Effects on world agriculture [Book Review]

Agriculture and Human Values 11 (1):10-18 (1994)
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Abstract

The Human Genome Project is the attempt to sequence the complement of human DNA. Its ultimate purpose is to understand and control human genetics. The social and ethical concerns raised by this attempt have been much debated, especially fears concerning human genetic engineering and eugenics. An almost completely neglected aspect of the genome project's potential effects is its impact on world agriculture. The Human Genome Project will provide source information to transform commercially and therapeutically valuable segments of the human genetic code into agricultural products using the newly extant technologies of gene farming. This application of developing genomic technologies has at least two foreseeable effects: 1) Transforming global agricultural markets and ecologies, raising possibilities of novel forms of neocolonialism and the further destruction of genetic diversity; and 2) transforming world health and society through new modes of pharmaceutical production and the unregulated expansion of medical access to novel and traditional therapeutics

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