The concept of natural: implications for biotechnology regulation
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The General Synod Board for Social Responsibility of the Church of England (1999) issued a report entitled Genetically Modified Organisms: A Briefing Paper. In this report, that is cautiously favorable towards biotechnology, the Synod Board states that enormous concern exists at the prospect of genetically modifying organisms arising from a sense that genetically modified foods are radically unnatural. In this paper, I will explore this concern that the genetic modification of organisms is unnatural as a reflection of competing concepts about the natural world. As I undertake this exploration, I acknowledge that the concept of the natural is immensely complex and that my comments barely grapple with the complexities. Despite these limitations, the concept of the natural B discerning the boundary between the natural and the unnatural B appears to be central to the debate about biotechnology.
AgBioForum 3(1) 2000: 69-74.