Rethinking ownership of genetically modified seeds

Zoë Robaey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific


Ownership is an important tenant of societies; it can be studied as a legal notion, a psychological one, or an anthropological one. In the context of new technological developments, ownership becomes important in terms of determining access, and sharing benefits and responsibilities. In the recent years, field of ethics for technology and notion of moral responsibility for risks have developed rapidly. When one considers use of biotechnology in agriculture, two main debates stand out—concerning risks and ownerships. This paper discusses a new way to conceive ownership anchored on ethics of technology and on practical philosophy literature, and points out moral responsibility of owners for stopping uncertain risks of genetically modified (GM) seeds. Doing so would allow an understanding of different narratives around GM seeds and would pinpoint observations morally desirable when risks are to be dealt with.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalAsian Biotechnology and Development Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Experimentation
  • Genetically Modified Seeds
  • Ownership
  • Rights
  • Risks


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