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Science, Society, and the Supermarket

The Opportunities and Challenges of Nutrigenomics

The new science of nutrigenomics and its ethical and societal challenges


Gene-diet interactions--which underlie relatively benign lactose intolerance to life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease--have long been known. But until now, scientists lacked the tools to fully understand the underlying mechanisms that cause these conditions. In recent years, however, strides in human genomics and the nutritional sciences have allowed for the advancement of a new science--dubbed nutrigenomics. Although this science may lead to personalized nutrition and dietary recommendations that can mitigate, prevent, or cure sickness, current oversight mechanisms and regulations for emerging direct-to-public nutrigenomic tests are still in their infancy.

Science, Society, and the Supermarket: The Opportunities and Challenges of Nutrigenomics discusses the many ethical, legal, and social challenges presented by nutrigenomics. Concerning itself with the basic uses of nutrigenomic research as well as its clinical and commercial aspects, this text sheds light on such issues as:
* Opportunities and challenges for nutrigenomics
* The science of nutrigenomics
* The ethics of nutrigenomic tests and information both in a clinical setting and by private third parties
* Alternatives for nutrigenomics service delivery
* Nutrigenomics and the regulation of health claims for foods and drugs
* Equity and access to nutrigenomics in industrialized and developing countries
* Intellectual property issues

By taking a proactive bioethical stance on the subject, Science, Society, and the Supermarket offers a thorough and timely analysis on both the benefits and risks of nutrigenomics. Along with a thought-provoking examination of the issues, this book provides ethical guidelines and recommendations for further study in policy and regulatory development.