Social responsibility for the use of genes, genomes and biotechnology in biotechnology companies: A commentary from the bioethical viewpoint

Okada, Yoshihiro; Watanabe, Kazuo N.
March 2008
Journal of Commercial Biotechnology;Mar2008, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p149
Academic Journal
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is discussed, targeting a broad range of industries. As yet, little work on CSR has focused on the specific situation of each industry. The biotechnology industry is unique in that companies use the genes and genomes of plants, animals, and humans, as well as biotechnology in their business. Public concern about genes and genomes centres on their inappropriate use or application in either research or business. This paper proposes a new CSR component for biotechnology companies: taking responsibility for the use of genes, genomes, and biotechnology (GGB) by adopting environmental ethics and bioethics. Environmental ethics is proposed as the ethical root of the environmental responsibility that companies take. The principles of environmental ethics are inductively reasoned from actual business activities, and towards the achievement of environmental responsibility. CSR for the use of GGB is deductively derived from the principles of bioethics and genetic ethics.Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (2008) 14, 149–167 doi:10.1057/jcb.2008.2; published online 5 February 2008


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