Ethical issues in food and agriculture
FAO Ethics Series, Vol. 1

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Thèmes d'Ethical issues in food and agriculture

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ISBN : 9789251045596 EAN : 9789251045596
FAO
In recent years food and agriculture have undergone major changes, including rapid technological advances, a restructuring of the resource base, the creation of new and expanded international markets, and closer ties with environmental management. For the first time, the development of the food and agriculture sector is being conceptualized globally - as indeed it must be. A fiscal crisis in Asia may depress farm prices in North America. A crop failure in Latin America may raise prices in Africa, while an exceptionally bountiful harvest may have the reverse effect, leaving surpluses in granaries unsold. Environmental pollution in one nation may reduce timber yields in another. A food-borne disease originating in one farmer's field may wreak havoc in several continents. As a result of these developments, all societies have some point of convergence with one another. A tractor built in North America can be used to cultivate a field in Central Asia. A poultry processing plant in Brazil will be much the same as one in Thailand. Conformity to Codex Alimentarius standards is becoming de facto mandatory as a result of the formation of the World Trade Organization. In virtually every large city on earth, it is possible to buy pizza made with similar ingredients, eat at a "fast food" restaurant and drink the same bottled soft drinks. Shipping containers, pallets, food packages and air cargo planes are all tending towards uniformity as world trade increases. This paper addresses ethical questions as they relate to FAO's mandate. First, the values central to food and agriculture are identified. Following this, the current situation is examined and specific issues are analysed. It is then argued that the balancing of interests and the peaceful resolution of conflicts should be common global goals. The last section describes a vision for building an ethical, efficient and safe world food and agriculture framework that is equitable and solidary and that respects the diversity of value systems.