Author Archives: Chris MacDonald

About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.

No Gene Patents, Please: US Dept of Justice

Needless to say, this story is rather a big deal. By Andrew Pollack, for the NYT: U.S. Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes … Continue reading

Posted in genes, patents, policy | 1 Comment

Cloned Foods, Europe, and Scientific Literacy

By Henry Miller, for the WSJ: The Cloned Cow Has Left the Barn Benighted European politicians seem determined to discourage certain innovations in food technology even when the rest of the world stands as living—and eating—proof of their safety. The … Continue reading

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Posted in cloning, ethics, Europe | Leave a comment

Monsanto’s Business Troubles

The Twittersphere and anti-biotech blogosphere have recently seen a flurry of joyful announcements of financial trouble at biotech giant Monsanto. Rumours of the companies death are, as they say, greatly exaggerated, but it is true that the company has suffered … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, ethics, GMO | Leave a comment

Canada to Gene Testers: Come On In!

From the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ): Federal government says regulation of consumer genetic tests is unnecessary: Industry forecasts indicate that Canadians will soon face a marketing avalanche to persuade them to purchase personal genetic test kits. But while American … Continue reading

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Biotech, Innovation & Clinical Trials

Here’s a blog entry, over on the Research Ethics Blog, that ought to be of interest to people interested in biotech: A Tale of Two Cousins: Tragedy and the Clinical Trial Recently the New York Times published a story about … Continue reading

Posted in clinical trials, ethics, genes, health, pharmaceuticals | Leave a comment

Genes, Height, and Complexity

A new study published in Nature suggests that, while height definitely has a strong genetic component, the contribution of genes to height is far from simple. See the report here, via Scientific American: Complex Genetic Trait Research Reaches New Heights … Continue reading

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Pre-Pregnancy Genetic Testing

A California company called Counsyl Inc. is the latest contender in the effort to push genetic testing into the consumer mainstream. See this story, by Michael Totty for the WSJ: A Genetic Test for Prospective Parents Proponents of universal prepregnancy … Continue reading

Posted in embryos, ethics, genetic testing, IVF, risk | Leave a comment

No Decision About GM Salmon

Given the controversy over AquaBounty’s GM salmon, I can only assume this headline is sarcastic: By Kim Carollo, for ABC News, Surprise: FDA Panel Unable to Reach Conclusion on Genetically Modified Salmon After two days of hearings, several members of … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, GMO, regulation | 3 Comments

Allowing / Permitting / Forbidding GMO Labels

OK, so the FDA seems unlikely to require the probably-soon-to-be-approved GM salmon to be labelled. See this story by Lyndsey Layton, for the Washington Post: FDA rules won’t require labeling of genetically modified salmon …As the Food and Drug Administration … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

GM Rice and Intellectual Property

Are GM crops aimed at helping farmers, or corporate shareholders? Generalizing in that regard is probably a mistake. See, for instance, this story from The Sydney Morning Herald, Group produces GM rice A team of Australian scientists has genetically modified … Continue reading

Posted in genes, GMO, patents | 2 Comments