Tag: agriculture

Bioethics News

This Is Why When You Talk About Climate Change, You Can’t Ignore Agriculture

August 23, 2017

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In a paper published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that land use changes associated with planting crops and grazing livestock have caused a loss of 133 billion tons of carbon from soil worldwide over the last 12,000 years, amounting to about 13 years of global emissions at their current levels. And at least half of those losses have probably occurred in the last few centuries.

“Historically, I think we’ve underestimated the amount of emissions from soils due to land use change,” said lead study author Jonathan Sanderman, an associate scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center, a climate change research organization based in Massachusetts.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Call for Papers: Health and Food Ethics

August 14, 2017

October 2018

Health and Food Ethics

Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Physicians in some U.S. cities have followed this advice by writing prescriptions for patients to obtain fresh produce through healthy food outreach programs. Clinical encounters, however, cannot fully reverse the negative health effects of low quality diets. Further, millions remain hungry as the quantity of the global food supply is at risk. Providing safe, nutritious, and environmentally- sustainable food to all is a great challenge, and if the global community cannot find solutions to feed the world, economic and social costs will be high. “Ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture” is one of the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. As such, a central question worth exploring in the October 2018 issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics is: What should be the roles of health professionals in promoting accountability by governments, non-governmental and civil society organizations, and the food and beverage industry in promoting strategies that can meet the nutrition and health needs of our global population? Other issues include: reducing and redistributing food loss and waste; incentivizing responsible food production and labeling practices; communicating about food practices and food access during clinical encounters; and strategies to promote food security as a goal of health professions.

Manuscripts submitted for peer review consideration and inclusion in this issue must follow all Instructions for Authors and be submitted by 12 February 2018.

Link for more information


Image: By Original: lyzadangerDerivative work: Diliff – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lyza/49545547,

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Grounding ethics from below: CRISPR-cas9 and genetic modification

By Anjan Chatterjee

The University of Pennsylvania

Anjan Chatterjee is the Frank A. and Gwladys H. Elliott Professor and Chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital. He is a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his BA in Philosophy from Haverford College, MD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his neurology residency at the University of Chicago. His clinical practice focuses on patients with cognitive disorders. His research addresses questions about spatial cognition and language, attention, neuroethics, and neuroaesthetics. He wrote The Aesthetic Brain: How we evolved to desire beauty and enjoy art and co-edited: Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, medicine, and society, and The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: behavioral neurology and neuropsychology. He is or has been on the editorial boards of: American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, Behavioural Neurology, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Neuropsychology, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, European Neurology, Empirical Studies of the Arts, The Open Ethics Journal and Policy Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology. He was awarded the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology by the American Academy of Neurology and the Rudolph Arnheim Prize for contribution to Psychology and the Arts by the American Psychological Association. He is a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Neuroethics Society, the past President of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and the past President of the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Society. He serves on the Boards of Haverford College, the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

How to Ensure Nutrition for Everyone Under Climate Change and Variability

July 10, 2017

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A better understanding of the pathways linking climate change and nutrition is key to developing effective interventions to ensure that the world’s population has access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Undernutrition can be exacerbated by the effects of climate change at all stages of the food value chain. In addition, disease is affected by climate and can, in turn, increase the demand for nutrients, while reducing nutrient absorption.

By some projections (IFPRI 2017), medium-to-high levels of climate change are expected to result in an additional 4.8 million undernourished children by 2050, half of whom will reside in Africa south of the Sahara. The emphasis on linkages between climate change and malnutrition is supported by a plethora of evidence of the adverse effects of malnutri-tion on productivity and health at different scales—be they individual, household, national, or global (Victora et al. 2008).

Nutrition is determined by diet, and diets are also a driving factor of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to its direct and indirect impacts on health, climate change influences nutritional status through the enabling food…

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Feed the Future: Gender, Climate Change, and Nutrition Integration Initiative (GCAN)

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Research Ethics Roundup: New USDA Numbers on Animals in Research Labs, Improving Diversity in Research, Collins to Stay at NIH, ICMJE’s New Policy on Data Sharing

This week’s Research Ethics Roundup looks at the latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) numbers on animals living in research labs, how researchers are working to better engage diverse populations, President Trump’s decision to keep Dr. Francis Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)’s final policy on data sharing statements for clinical trials.

The post Research Ethics Roundup: New USDA Numbers on Animals in Research Labs, Improving Diversity in Research, Collins to Stay at NIH, ICMJE’s New Policy on Data Sharing appeared first on Ampersand.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Research Ethics Roundup: Congress Reviews Regulatory Compliance Costs, Why the Fogarty International Center Matters, USDA Sued Over Animal Welfare Records, Negotiating Drug Prices with Human Subjects

This week’s Research Ethics Roundup reviews a Congressional hearing on reducing overhead payments for research oversight, highlights doctors’ arguments for saving the Fogarty International Center at the National Institute of Health (NIH), discusses legal challenges faced by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) over their decision to delay reposting animal welfare records, and outlines a […]

The post Research Ethics Roundup: Congress Reviews Regulatory Compliance Costs, Why the Fogarty International Center Matters, USDA Sued Over Animal Welfare Records, Negotiating Drug Prices with Human Subjects appeared first on Ampersand.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Role of genetic engineering in European agriculture

Criticises the attitude of politicians, on not recognising the value of new farming technologies

The scientific advisor HFFA Research GmbH has published a study entitled “ The economic, social and environmental value of plant breeding in the European Union” on the role of genetic improvement in the European farming sector. The Report, which criticises the attitude of politicians, on not recognising the value of new farming technologies (agriculture genetic engineering), concludes that genetic advances have allowed production of European crops to be increased up to 74% in the last 15 years. According to its authors, the increased production derived from genetic advances has helped to stabilise the markets, reduce price volatility and increase the world food supply. They are also responsible for increasing the European GNP by 14 billion Euros. It has also managed to slow the expansion of land destined for agriculture, preserving 19 million hectares that had been destined for farming without these technological advances. It has also prevented the emission of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 by limiting land use change.

Photo: Cenex

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Ethical Guidance for the Supermarket

Ethical Certification Workshop

March 2017

The US Dept. of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia

 

Brief Summary

 

If free-range eggs once occupied a little part of the shelf, now the situation is completely reversed, with a dizzying array of options trumpeting eggs that are organic, or Omega-3 enriched, from hens that are cage-free, local, vegetarian fed, cage-free, or merely enjoying “outdoor access.” As it becomes increasingly complex for consumers to navigate supermarket shelves, the need for ethical guidance and information for consumers grows.

 

Last year, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Bloomberg School of Public Health embarked on a project to address this need. A key step involved bringing together a broad range of academic and industry experts to grapple with the myriad debates that emerge around trying to find ethical consensus. To ensure a lively and informed debate, we drew upon the expertise of purchasers, retailers, farmers, water conservation experts, food safety specialists, nutritionists, and academics focused on animal welfare, labor and human rights, crops and agriculture, the environment, and the evaluation of standards.

 

In preparation for the workshop seven academic members of the team wrote white papers to cover the core subject areas of the project: crop production; animal welfare; water utilization and impact; public health and nutrition; food safety; environmental impact; and labor and community issues. These papers provided on overview of the topic and highlighted moral issues to consider for ethical certification. In addition to providing background information on the subject matter, the white papers were also used to inform the statements of ethical concern formulated as Candidate Criteria.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Food Security & Nutrition in Timor-Leste

Q&A with Becky McLaren

 

Can you briefly describe the Timor-Leste project and your recent visit to the country?

 

The project is a strategic review of the food security and nutrition situation in Timor-Leste. We’re working with the World Food Programme, which has done similar work in other countries. We’re evaluating what’s been done in the past and what’s currently going on in order to make recommendations for future work. Our review is framed around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 2 which aims to end hunger worldwide by 2030.

 

Our recent trip was an opportunity to develop relationships with our different collaborators, including our main partner in the review, CEPAD; build an outline for the project’s next steps; and meet other stakeholders – government, international and local NGOs, and civil society organizations.

 

Can you tell us about some of the unique nutrition and food security challenges facing Timor-Leste?

 

Timor-Leste is a post-conflict country which is still in the window of peacebuilding and becoming more stable. The country was colonized by Portugal until 1975 and then occupied by Indonesia until the UN helped it achieve independence in 2002. There was a reemergence of conflict in 2006, and UN peacekeepers maintained a presence in Timor-Leste until 2012. At the present, the country has a unique opportunity to move beyond creating a stable government and into building food and nutrition security. The government has the chance to restructure the agriculture and food systems.

 

Timor-Leste also has serious nutrition challenges, with one of the highest stunting rates in the world.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Toxicologist Aims To Label Ethical Standards

Toxicologist Alan Goldberg knows what an industrial pig nursery should look and smell like. So one with no pigs, no slop, and no aroma was certainly surprising. Goldberg toured such a sanitized—and possibly staged—facility in 2006 while he was part of the 15-member Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, tasked to examine how industry practices impact human health, animal welfare, the environment, and rural communities.

 

The facilities with actual animals in them told a different tale. He recalls one poultry shed in Arkansas that housed 45,000 chickens clustered on a dirt floor that had likely not been cleaned since before the last harvest. Inside, the potent mix of nitrous oxide and ammonia, a byproduct of the chicken feces and urine, made the commissioners’ eyes burn. “The word the Pew Commission used to describe the conditions we saw was ‘inhumane.’ Personally, I would say ‘cruel,’” says Goldberg, a professor of environmental health and engineering at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the founding director of the school’s Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

 

THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE PROJECT IS TO CREATE A TEMPLATE OF ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR THE FOOD INDUSTRY AND BETTER INFORM CONSUMERS ABOUT THEIR CHOICES.

In its 2008 landmark report, the commission condemned the state of industrial production and made sweeping recommendations, including the ban of nontherapeutic anti­biotics, improved management of food animal waste to lessen contamination of waterways, and the phasing out of intensive animal confinement.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.