5Summary of What was Learned in Part 1 Using the Example of GMOs

Let us consider, too briefly to reach a definitive position, but enough to serve as an example, the difficult case of GMO cultivation.

In the 1980s, France made significant investments in GMO research. At the time, it was at the forefront of this field, which was considered very promising. However, in 2014, a law was passed prohibiting the cultivation of GMOs on French soil1.

This question involves many “conditions”, in particular motivations, which define a broad spectrum including interests, values and the rights of the persons concerned.

Let us first consider the “interests” at stake. There are the interests of large companies, which are financial in nature. There is the purely scientific interest linked to research: knowledge about the living world, knowledge about the genetic basis of its evolution, knowledge about the consequences, whether desirable or not, of genetic manipulation. There are interests related to the need to feed an ever-growing world population, even if these are generally overestimated. Indeed, effective solutions for developing countries can be much simpler. There are also the huge healthcare costs in the event of dangers that are linked to GMOs and diagnosed too late.

What would the relevant “values” be? First, there is the need to feed the world’s rapidly growing population. This problem can be solved, let us repeat, by simpler, more directly effective solutions. There is the need to ...

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