Genomic Nutritional Profiling: The Ethics of Nutrigenomics

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

St. Paul Student Center Theater

Hippocrates advised us to let food be our medicine, but he could not have anticipated the quagmire of ethical and legal issues that would arise with the advent of nutritional genomics. Nutrigenomics straddles a food-medicine distinction and is encumbered with many questions about the strength and uncertainties associated with the science. Prof. Castle discussed how the public should respond to offers of direct-to-consumer nutrigenomic tests and how regulators can identify and mitigate risks arising from this new science.

Application for CME and CNE Credits approved by the University of Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education. Determination of credit was approved. Credit is sought only for those attending the live lecture; credit will not be given for viewing videotapes after the lecture. Continuing legal education credit (CLE) for attorneys was approved (1.5 hours).

It is the policy of the University of Minnesota’s Office of Continuing Medical Education to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all its sponsored educational activities. All faculty participating in sponsored programs are expected to disclose to the program audience any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of their presentation.

David Castle, PhD, is a professor of philosophy at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on the philosophy of the life sciences, with emphasis on evolutionary biology and ecology, environmental philosophy and the ethical implications posed by biotechnology.

He is the principal investigator of the “Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health” funded by Genome Canada and “Legal Models of Biotechnology Intellectual Property Protection: A Transdisciplinary Approach,” supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

He is co-editor of Genetically Modified Foods: Debating Biotechnology, published by Prometheus Press; co-author of Science, Society and the Supermarket: Opportunities and Challenges for Nutrigenomics , forthcoming with John Wiley and Sons; and co-editor of Aquaculture, Innovation and Social Transformation, which is forthcoming with Springer.

February 7, 2007