Bioethics and the Environment. a Brief Review of the Ethical Aspects of the Precautionary Principle and Genetic Modified Crops

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Here's the dilemma: while traditional agricultural systems appear to be unsustainable due to their environmental impact, transgenic production seems to be a solution that could help us to make agricultural production more sustainable. This work attempts to clarify some of the concepts -such as the Precautionary Principle- that seems to govern many field of scientific research especially transgenic crops and ultimately human development. Now more than ever before, we have to face ethical challenges arising from scientific and technological developments. The genomic intervention by humans in plants, animals and microorganisms involves risks for them and, consequently, for humankind. On the other hand, if people did not interfere in the genome of these living beings, human survival could be jeopardized and the environment could be further damaged. When assessing the risks of human intervention in other living organisms, it is also essential to explore the risk of not intervening. As we develop this issue further, one essential question arises: what offers greater risk, intervention or non-intervention? Safe food, drinking water and unpolluted air are basic human needs but, if they are contaminated, they can also become hazardous to human and animal health. The paradox is that the lack of precautionary guidelines and actions can result in irreversible or serious damage to ecosystems and human health. Similarly, the erroneous application of precautionary measures, based on suspected risk, might also result in these same problems. In this book, we will explore fields such as agriculture, human health, people's effect on the environment and the resulting effect of the environment on humans. In order to explore these areas, this book is divided into four chapters. The first chapter is on the origin of the Precautionary Principle (PP), the political and social need for a new concept to stop environmental damage. The second chapter presents the search for solutions to humankind's nutritional problems. The third chapter covers the environment, the ecosystem, biodiversity, air pollution and the ethical debate on humans and their relationship with the environment. Finally, the last chapter of this book presents the most relevant issues that arise from the PP.

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Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
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