Freedom of Cropping and the Good Life: Political Philosophy and the Conflict Between the Organic Movement and the Biotech Industry Over Cross-Contamination

Per Sandin
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
This paper begins by describing recent controversies over cross-contamination of crops in the United States and European Union. The EU and US are both applying the principle of freedom of cropping to resolve these conflicts, which is based on an individualistic philosophy. However, despite the EU and the US starting with the principle of freedom of cropping they have very dissimilar regulatory regimes for coexistence. These contradictory policies based upon the same principle are creating different sets of winners and losers. In the US the organic industry claims the system of coexistence is unfair and in the EU the biotech industry claims the system is unfair. It seems that states, despites claims to neutrality and freedom of choice, are prejudicing one system of agriculture over another in resolutions to the conflict over cross contamination. In this paper I will argue that if states cannot remain neutral in coexistence policies, there are conditional reasons for favoring the organic industry over the biotech industry in coexistence policies based in communitarian moral philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9570-y
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