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Ethical Issues and Potential Stakeholder Priorities Associated with the Application of Genomic Technologies Applied to Animal Production Systems

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Coles, Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This study considered the range of ethical issues and potential stakeholder priorities associated with the application of genomic technologies applied to animal production systems, in particular those which utilised genomic technologies in accelerated breeding rather than the application of genetic modification. A literature review was used to inform the development of an ethical matrix, which was used to scope the potential perspectives of different agents regarding the acceptability of genomic technologies, as opposed to genetic modification (GM) techniques applied to animal production systems. There are very few studies carried out on stakeholder (including consumer) attitudes regarding the application of genomics to animal production in the human food chain and it may be that this technology is perceived as no more than an extension of traditional breeding techniques. While this is an area which needs more research, it would appear from this study that genomics, because it avoids many of the disadvantages and consumer perceptions associated with GM, is likely to prove a more publicly acceptable route than is GM for the development of healthier and more productive animals. However, stakeholders also need to have an approach to the moral status of the animals involved that finds credibility and acceptability with civil society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coles D, Frewer LJ, Goddard E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

Year: 2015

Volume: 28

Issue: 2

Pages: 231-253

Print publication date: 01/04/2015

Online publication date: 29/01/2015

Acceptance date: 09/01/2015

Date deposited: 26/01/2015

ISSN (print): 1187-7863

ISSN (electronic): 1573-322X

Publisher: Spinger


DOI: 10.1007/s10806-015-9529-z


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Funder referenceFunder name
SFR 3374Genome Alberta
SFR2374Genome Alberta