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Technological advances and organizational changes affecting agrifood systems in recent years have been radical and rapid; the repercussions, however, will be felt for a long time to come and the consequences may be irreversible. Whether these changes be as specific as individual food production techniques or as broad as the effects of globalization, they have refocused attention on age-old human values and fundamental human rights, including the right to adequate - and safe - food. The resulting controversies have brought to the fore a number of basic ethical concerns that are central to the global goals of world food security and sustainable rural development: the need for equitable participation, for example, that reconciles the interests of wealthy and less advantaged countries today while guaranteeing viable options for future generations; and the need to ensure broad-based involvement in decisions concerning technology development, particularly genetic engineering. The resolution of these issues demands careful reflection and constructive dialogue - the purpose of this new series on ethics in food and agriculture is to give impetus to that dialogue.
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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
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