The International Law of Biotechnology
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The International Law of Biotechnology

Human Rights, Trade, Patents, Health and the Environment

Matthias Herdegen

Biotechnology is a field that inspires complex legal and ethical debates on an international scale. Taking a fresh approach to the subject, Matthias Herdegen provides a comprehensive assessment of the regulation of biotechnology processes and products from an international and comparative perspective.
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Chapter 10: Conclusion: legal values, individual rights and democratic choices in a pluralist world

Matthias Herdegen


Biotechnology poses significant challenges to States, international organisations and the international community at large. Differing risk perceptions and varying levels of risk aversion influence regulation of biotechnology. Normative, ethical and technical standards justify and limit regulatory decisions. In the long run, regulatory choices may affect consumers’ preferences. Still, the individual’s choices in favour or against biotech products are rooted on personal freedom and autonomy. In this subjective realm, preferences require no objective justification.

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