Chapter 29 » 29.05

We recognise the enormous powers of newly developing genetic engineering techniques to change living matter with speed and scope hitherto unthinkable. Recent applications of bio-engineering to plant and animal species have benefited mainly people in materially wealthy countries at the expense of the materially poor, and of global biodiversity. Continuation of these technologies and their extension to human beings highlights the need for Friends to affirm that the intrinsic value of all life forms is not restricted to their utilitarian functions, and that the richness of human diversity should never be reduced to the level of a commodity or made subject to market forces. The potential of genetic technologies for good and ill requires humility, wisdom, and lovingkindness, and also the capacity to know when to stop. We Friends need to bring our own diverse gifts to help ensure that research into and application of genetic technologies do not proceed without consideration for justice, democracy, and respect for the dignity and well-being of all.

Amber Carroll and Grace Jantzen, 1994

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