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Acceptable genes?; religious traditions and genetically modified foods.


Acceptable genes?; religious traditions and genetically modified foods.

Ed. by Conrad G. Brunk and Harold Coward.

State U. of New York Pr.


272 pages



SUNY series on religion and the environment


Surveys that focus on national populations and general questions about attitudes towards food biotechnology are likely missing the views of subpopulations whose traditions and beliefs raise for them unique questions about food and dietary practice. For example, generic questions about whether genetically modified foods should be labeled may elicit a different response than one that premised the question with regards to Islamic identity and halal dietary rules. Brunk (philosophy, U. of Victoria, Canada) and Coward (emeritus, history, U. of Victoria, Canada) present 11 papers investigating the moral and religious attitudes of these significant subpopulations within pluralistic societies. They primarily focus on Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Chinese religionists, and ethical vegetarians in North American society and limit their inquiry to consumption issues as opposed to environmental or ecological concerns. The investigations were conducted through the use of focus groups whose members were recruited from local religious communities in Western Canada, combining both "expert interpreters" of the religious traditions alongside "nonexpert" lay adherents, in which groups were presented with a presentation on the nature of genetically modified food technology and asked about their reactions to the technology in light of their dietary philosophies and commitments. The authors of the papers also include their own views of GM foods and highlight differences between their views and those that emerged out of the focus groups.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:May 1, 2010
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