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Property rights and genetic engineering - Essay Example

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Every day new technologies appear, but like any innovations, these have their positive and negative sides and that means, there are proponents and opponents of novelties. The issue of genetically engineered organisms gave rise to hot debate, this article concerns the problem of current GES-related policies…
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Property rights and genetic engineering
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"Property rights and genetic engineering"

Download file to see previous pages The idea of patenting by itself is reasonable, the main problem is in its awkward implementation, so the author states that current GES-patent policies have their drawbacks and then she tries to prove it by giving evidence from different sources and spheres of life. Firstly, current situation in the market of biotechnology is observed. Secondly, economic and ethical theories are involved to show the inconsistency of adherents of current GES-related policies. Finally, summing up all the key moments and objections, the author gives possible ways out of existing practice.
The main concern is that today genetically engineered products are exploited with an only purpose of making big money without thinking about possible consequences, which may become apparent already tomorrow. Biotech moguls argue that their products are not harmful at all, that GES seeds, for example, are identical with the natural. Sometimes they seem to forget about the ethical aspect of the issue and do not ask whether GES should be patented without consent of the state. The main idea sounds as follows: if there are no negative effects detected today, there are no such at all. Certainly, it is simplification, and in fact, effects could be found only many years later, when new technologies appear but then it could be already too late. ...
It should be especially mentioned that such technologies could destroy the rural economies of developing and third world countries also because unemployment and seed prices are increasing.
But these are not the only arguments of those who are against current GES-related patent system. John Locke's theory of property rights is applied here. In fact, these were GES-patenting followers who first started to justify their position by using this classic economic and ethical concept. But their interpretation show the best advantage of property owners because they give only superficial facts and pronounce only general statements. Their opponents raise an objection to it: biological resources cannot be owned, they should be shared, they say. And they find a lot of facts within the Locke's theory which confirm their objections.
Surely, Locke stated that people own the products of their labor the same way as they own their bodies. But the philosopher also added: there should be "enough and as good" common properties left for other people. And that is not the only limitation: there is also law of nature, labor theory and preservation theory. He mentioned that the life of another person could never be determined by the rights of property. All the property is given by God, it is common for all the people and though they are living in a society, they are governed by the law of nature and the law of peace and stability preservation.
Proponents of current GES policies draw attention to Locke's thought that only labor determines the difference of value. But there was no act of creation new seeds, scientists just purified or engineered them.
American biotech companies take out patents for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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