Just Editing?

A comparative responsible innovation approach to animal genome editing

This research project by Wageningen University and Utrecht University develops a comparative responsible innovation approach to examine the conditions, if any, under which genome editing technology can and should be applied to animal breeding applications. 

On the one hand, genome editing in farming animals promises various benefits, including:

  • Improvements in productivity - for example by breeding animals that convert feed more efficiently into animal products
  • Improvements in animal welfare - for example by breeding cows that do not grow horns and thus do not have to be dehorned
  • Improvements in disease resistance - for example by breeding pigs that are resistant to African Swine Fever

On the other hand, however, this application of genome editing technology raises ethical and societal concerns. The question is therefore whether, and if so, under what conditions the technology can become embedded responsibly in society. 

Using the anticipate-include-reflect-respond (AIRR) framework, social scientists, ethicists, beta scientists, and breeding companies collaborate to anticipate, reflect on and respond to ethical and societal concerns about this technology.


  • Ethical assessment framework for gene-editing in animals

     

    senna middelveldAn interesting interview in the WUR magazine Resource with postdoc Senna Middelveld.  How could an ethical framework help livestock breeding companies to talk about and/or make decisions about gene-editing in their breeding programmes?

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  • Interview with Senna Middelveld at Spraakmakers Radio 1

                                                                 

    senna middelveld

    Interview with Senna Middelveld at Radio 1 show Spraakmakers.

    Bull Herman is probably the most famous bull of the Netherlands. During the 1990s he caused a lot of concerns and ethical debate, because he was genetically modified. How do we, after 30 years since his birth, deal with genetic modification of animals?

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CONTACT

Prof dr Phil MacNaghten
Knowledge, Technogy and Innovation Group
Wageningen University and Research
The Netherlands

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