Class 12 Biology Biotechnology and Applications Ethical issues

Ethical issues

  • Genetic modification of organisms can have unpredictable results when such organisms are introduced into the ecosystem, hence the Indian Government has set up organizations such as GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee), to make decisions regarding the validity of GM research and the safety of introducing GM-organisms for public service.
  • The modification/usage of living organisms for public services has also created problems with patents granted for the same.
  • Patent is the right granted by the Government to a producer to prevent other from using his product.
  • An American company got patent rights on Basmati rice but the variety of Basmati had actually been derived from Indian farmer’s varieties.
  • Several attempts have also been made to patent uses, products and processes based on Indian traditional herbal medicines. Example- turmeric, neem.
  • Biopiracy is the term used to refer to the use of bio-resources by multinational companies and other organizations without proper authorization from the countries and people concerned without compensatory payment.
  • Some nations are developing laws to prevent such unauthorized exploitation of their bio-resources and traditional knowledge.


Fig. basmati rice 


Fig. turmeric plant

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