The Tao of Biotechnology

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Harvard Bioethics Center

Harvard Law School has received $10 million to create the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, to deal with the legal aspects of biotechnology. They plan to discuss such topics as the definition of human life and whether people have the right (or duty, if circumstances warrant) to modify the genes of their offspring.

This new center is all well and good, but I think the money would be better spent discussing whether or not corporations have a right to modify and patent our food supply; whether or not scientists have a right to cross plants with animals; whether or not ordinary people have a right to know exactly what is in their food.

There are some important, fundamental issues surrounding biotechnology and bioethics. It looks like the new center at Harvard will address some but not others. So that leaves people like me to continue wondering when these issues will be discussed. It shouldn’t have to wait until some college receives a $10 million gift.

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