An animal welfare perspective on animal testing of GMO crops

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Roman Kolar , Brigitte Rusche
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The public discussion on the introduction of agro-genetic engineering focuses mainly on economical, ecological and human health aspects. The fact is neglected that laboratory animals must suffer before either humans or the environment are affected. However, numerous animal experiments are conducted for toxicity testing and authorisation of genetically modified plants in the European Union. These are ethically questionable, because death and suffering of the animals for purely commercial purposes are accepted. Therefore, recent political initiatives to further increase animal testing for GMO crops must be regarded highly critically. Based on concrete examples this article demonstrates that animal experiments, on principle, cannot provide the expected protection of users and consumers despite all efforts to standardise, optimise or extend them.

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Kolar, R. and Rusche, B. (2008) “An animal welfare perspective on animal testing of GMO crops”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 25(2), pp. 127–130. doi: 10.14573/altex.2008.2.127.

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