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Food Ethics: Perspectives from FAO

Back in 2000, FAO designated "Ethics in Food and Agriculture" as a priority area for interdisciplinary action. In recognition of this designation, Dr Jacques Diouf, FAO's Director-General established a Panel of Eminent Experts on Ethics in Food and Agriculture to advise him on pressing issues of ethics in food and agriculture. The panel of experts identified the fundamental ethical issue for FAO as "to ensure humanity's freedom from hunger and the access of everyone to adequate food" and issued three reports on their deliberations. 

FAO also produced a publication series on the ethical dimensions of its work, which includes four papers:

  • Ethical issues in food and agriculture
  • Genetically modified organisms, consumers, food safety and the environment
  • The ethics of sustainable agricultural intensification
  • Ethical issues in fisheries

Collectively, these documents provide a very useful introduction to food ethics issues at the international level, especially with regards to the role of the ethical dimensions of work by groups like FAO and are well worth a read for folks interested in food ethics issues.