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Conference paper - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Potato crisps from CRISPR-Cas9 modification – aspects of autonomy and fairness

Rocklinsberg, H.; Gjerris, M.


Within the Swedish MISTRA Biotech research programme the quality of starch in potatoes has been changed by use of different technologies such asCRISPR-Cas9. The idea is to increase the level of amylose, both for health reasons and as a mean to investigate possibilities for replacing fossil based oxygen barriers in food packages, thus reducing the climate impact. The goals thus seem laudable to most, but the experience of introducing GMOs on the market shows that even though there might be agreement on the goals, the strategy of using biotechnology to achieve them can be ethically contested. We describe the intentions behind developing the new plants and analyse some of the ethical issues that the development and marketing of the gene-edited potatoes raise. We argue that the concepts of autonomy and fairness are useful tools to understand many of the conflicting ethical values in the discussions relating to gene-editing. From our perspective these concepts are interrelated and relevant in at least two ways: (1) fairness in terms of both financial power and labelling as a means to ensure equal opportunities to make an autonomous decision as an individual ethical consumer and (2) fairness in term of equal market power between autonomous market actors.


autonomy; fairness; potato starch; regulation

Published in

Book title: Professionals in food chains
ISBN: 978-90-8686-321-1, eISBN: 978-90-8686-869-8
Publisher: Wageningen Academic Publishers


14th Congress of the European-Society-for-Agricultural-and-Food-Ethics - Professionals in Food Chains: Ethics, Roles and Responsibilities, JUN 13-16, 2018, Vienna, AUSTRIA

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    Other Agricultural Sciences not elsewhere specified

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