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Zahra Meghani
University of Rhode Island
  1. Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Food and Neoliberalism: An Argument for Democratizing the Regulatory Review Protocol of the Food and Drug Administration.Zahra Meghani - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (6):967–989.
    The primary responsibility of the US Food and Drug Administration is to protect public health by ensuring the safety of the food supply. To that end, it sometimes conducts risk assessments of novel food products, such as genetically modified food. The FDA describes its regulatory review of GM food as a purely scientific activity, untainted by any normative considerations. This paper provides evidence that the regulatory agency is not justified in making that claim. It is argued that the FDA’s policy (...)
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  2.  20
    The Hard Sell of Genetically Engineered (GE) Mosquitoes with Gene Drives as the Solution to Malaria: Ethical, Political, Epistemic, and Epidemiological Issues in Global Health Governance.Zahra Meghani - 2020 - In Sharon Crasnow & Kristen Intemann (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Feminist Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 435-457.
    This chapter analyzes the ‘hard sell’ of genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes with gene drives as the solution to mosquito-borne diseases. A defining characteristic of the aggressive sell of the bio-technology is the ‘biologization’ of the significant prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases in certain socio-economically marginalized regions of the global South. Specifically, hard sell narratives either minimize or ignore the structural, systemic factors that are partially responsible for the public health problem that the GE mosquitoes are intended to bio-solve. The biologization of (...)
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  3. Autonomy of Nations and Indigenous Peoples and the Environmental Release of Genetically Engineered Animals with Gene Drives.Zahra Meghani - 2019 - Global Policy 10 (4):554-568.
    This article contends that the environmental release of genetically engineered (GE) animals with heritable traits that are patented will present a challenge to the efforts of nations and indigenous peoples to engage in self‐determination. The environmental release of such animals has been proposed on the grounds that they could function as public health tools or as solutions to the problem of agricultural insect pests. This article brings into focus two political‐economic‐legal problems that would arise with the environmental release of such (...)
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  4.  38
    Care for the Caregivers? Transnational Justice and Undocumented Non-Citizen Care Workers.Zahra Meghani & Lisa Eckenwiler - 2009 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2 (1):77-101.
    In recent years, the flow of undocumented labor from the global South to richer nations has increased considerably. Many undocumented women workers find employment as caregivers for the dependent elderly, whose numbers are burgeoning in affluent countries. Here we present a profile of undocumented non-citizen caregivers in the United States and delineate some of the key injustices they suffer. After identifying the causal factors responsible for the flow of undocumented labor from the global South to richer nations like the United (...)
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  5. Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes, Zika and Other Arboviruses, Community Engagement, Costs, and Patents: Ethical Issues.Zahra Meghani & Christophe Boete - 2018 - PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 7 (12).
    Genetically engineered (GE) insects, such as the GE OX513A Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, have been designed to suppress their wild-type populations so as to reduce the transmission of vector-borne diseases in humans. Apart from the ecological and epidemiological uncertainties associated with this approach, such biotechnological approaches may be used by individual governments or the global community of nations to avoid addressing the underlying structural, systemic causes of those infections... We discuss here key ethical questions raised by the use of GE mosquitoes, (...)
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  6.  36
    A Robust, Particularist Ethical Assessment of Medical Tourism.Zahra Meghani - 2011 - Developing World Bioethics 11 (1):16-29.
    Recently, in increasing numbers, citizens of wealthy nations are heading to poorer countries for medical care. They are traveling to the global South as medical tourists because in their home nations either they cannot get timely medical care or they cannot afford needed treatments. This essay offers a robust, particularist ethical assessment of the practice of citizens of richer nations traveling to poorer countries for healthcare.
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  7.  3
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Evaluation of the Safety of Animal Clones: A Failure to Recognize the Normativity of Risk Assessment Projects.Inmaculada de Melo-Martín & Zahra Meghani - 2009 - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 29 (1):9-17.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced recently that food products derived from some animal clones and their offspring are safe for human consumption. In response to criticism that it had failed to engage with ethical, social, and economic concerns raised by livestock cloning, the FDA argued that addressing normative issues prior to issuing a final ruling on animal cloning is not part of its mission. In this article, the authors reject the FDA's claim that its mission to protect and (...)
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  8.  1
    Regulating Animals with Gene Drive Systems: Lessons From the Regulatory Assessment of a Genetically Engineered Mosquito.Zahra Meghani & Jennifer Kuzma - 2018 - Journal of Responsible Innovation 5 (S1).
    For the purposes of conservation or suppression of species, gene drive technology has significant potential. Theoretically speaking, with the release of even relatively few animals with gene drive systems in an ecosystem, beneficial or harmful genes could be introduced into the entire wild-type population of that species. Given the profound impact that gene drives could have on species and ecosystems, their use is a highly contentious issue. Communities and groups have differing beliefs about nature and its conservation or preservation, as (...)
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  9.  37
    The US' Food and Drug Administration, Normativity of Risk Assessment, Gmos, and American Democracy.Zahra Meghani - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (2):125-139.
    The process of risk assessment of biotechnologies, such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), has normative dimensions. However, the US’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seems committed to the idea that such evaluations are objective. This essay makes the case that the agency’s regulatory approach should be changed such that the public is involved in deciding any ethical or social questions that might arise during risk assessment of GMOs. It is argued that, in the US, neither aggregative nor deliberative (representative) democracy (...)
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  10.  21
    Genetically Engineered Animals, Drugs, and Neoliberalism: The Need for a New Biotechnology Regulatory Policy Framework.Zahra Meghani - 2017 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 30 (6):715-743.
    Genetically engineered animals that are meant for release in the wild could significantly impact ecosystems given the interwoven or entangled existence of species. Therefore, among other things, it is all too important that regulatory agencies conduct entity appropriate, rigorous risk assessments that can be used for informed decision-making at the local, national and global levels about the release of those animals in the wild. In the United States, certain GE animals that are intended for release in the wild may be (...)
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  11.  53
    Values, Technologies, and Epistemology.Zahra Meghani - 2008 - Agriculture and Human Values 25 (1):25-34.
    The aim of this paper is to make possible dialogue between those who claim that technologies are coded with social, political, or ethical values and those who argue that they are value-neutral. To demonstrate the relevance of this bridge-building project, the controversy regarding agrifood biotechnology will be used as a case study. Drawing on work by L. H. Nelson about the nature of human knowledge-building enterprises and E. F. Kittay’s account of the relationally-constituted self, the argument will be made that (...)
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  12.  73
    The “Revolving Door” Between Regulatory Agencies and Industry: A Problem That Requires Reconceptualizing Objectivity.Zahra Meghani & Jennifer Kuzma - 2011 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (6):575-599.
    There is a “revolving door” between federal agencies and the industries regulated by them. Often, at the end of their industry tenure, key industry personnel seek employment in government regulatory entities and vice versa. The flow of workers between the two sectors could bring about good. Industry veterans might have specialized knowledge that could be useful to regulatory bodies and former government employees could help businesses become and remain compliant with regulations. But the “revolving door” also poses at least three (...)
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  13.  14
    Is Personhood an Illusion?Zahra Meghani - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):62-63.
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  14.  14
    Regulations Matter: Epistemic Monopoly, Domination, Patents, and the Public Interest.Zahra Meghani - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology (tba):1-26.
    This paper argues that regulatory agencies have a responsibility to further the public interest when they determine the conditions under which new technological products may be commercialized. As a case study, this paper analyzes the US 9th Circuit Court’s ruling on the efforts of the US Environmental Protection Agency to regulate an herbicide meant for use with seed that are genetically modified to be tolerant of the chemical. Using that case, it is argued that when regulatory agencies evaluate new technological (...)
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  15.  14
    Rethinking Reprogenetics by Inmaculada de Melo-Martin. [REVIEW]Zahra Meghani - 2019 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 29 (1):1-5.
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  16.  93
    The Impact of Vertical Public Health Initiatives on Gendered Familial Care Work: Public Health and Ethical Issues.Zahra Meghani - 2021 - Critical Public Health 2.
    Rigorous evaluations of the effects of vertical public health enterprises on the health systems of low-income countries usefully identify the public health and ethical costs of those initiatives. They reveal that such narrowly focused public health ventures undermine the efforts of those countries to establish and maintain adequately resourced and well-developed national health systems, including comprehensive primary care programs. This paper argues that the scope of assessments of vertical public health ventures should be broadened to include gender as an additional (...)
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