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Practical Ethics for Food Professionals: Ethics in Research, Education and the Workplace



Practical Ethics for Food Professionals: Ethics in Research, Education and the Workplace

J. Peter Clark (Editor), Christopher Ritson (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-67343-0 July 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 298 Pages


This book offers a practical guide to the most pressing ethical issues faced by those working in food manufacturing and associated industries. Early chapters look at the fundamentals of ethical thinking and how lessons of medical ethics might be applied to the food industry. The book then addresses some issues specifically relevant to the food industry, including treatment of animals; the use of genetically modified organisms; food product advertising; health claims and sustainability. Several further chapters present case studies which show how ethical thinking can be applied in real life examples.

This volume should be on the desk of every food industry professional responsible for important decisions about science, marketing, resources, sustainability, the environment and people.

Contributors ix

Preface xi


1 Fundamentals of ethics: the use of virtues 3
Edmund G. Seebauer

2 Lessons from medical ethics 21
Thomas A. Nairn

3 Ethical principles and the ethical matrix 39
Ben Mepham

4 An East Asian perspective on food ethics: implications for childhood obesity in mainland China 57
Vinh Sum Chau


5 Ethics in business 77
Timothy F. Bednarz

6 Ethics in publishing/reporting food science and technology research 93
Daryl Lund

7 Humane treatment of livestock 101
Temple Grandin

8 Sustainable food production and consumption 117
Jeanette Longfield

9 Good or bad foods? Responsible health and nutrition claims in Europe 135
Sue Davies

10 Worker exploitation in food production and service 153
Charlie Clutterbuck


11 Ethical practices in the workplace 173
J. Peter Clark

12 Ethical thinking and practice 189
Louis B. Clark

13 The fair trade movement 203
Richard Norman

14 A serious case: the Peanut Corporation of America 221
Mark F. Clark

15 Ethical aspects of nanotechnology in the area of food and food manufacturing 239
Herbert J. Buckenhuskes

16 Food commodity speculation – an ethical perspective 247
Chris Sutton


17 Reflections on food ethics 265
Christopher Ritson

Index 277

“Ethical practices, once a traditional component of basic education and daily living, appear to have too often slipped from our culture. The authors provide a practical guide for applying ethical principles to the global food production and processing industry while anchoring doing the “right” or “ethically best” thing to the foundations of Western philosophy. The volume leads the reader to conclude that application of practical ethics to each link of the commercial food chain would greatly benefit all, from the producer to the consumer.”  (Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology, 22 April 2014)

“I highly recommend the groundbreaking and very approachable book Practical Ethics for Food Professionals: Ethics in Research, Education and the Workplace edited by J. Peter Clark and Christopher Ritson, to any academics, teachers, and students in any food related and agricultural program, business leaders in the food industry, primary agricultural producers, public policy makers, and activists seeking a clear and practical series of essays that offer a complete overview of values and ethics in the food industry. This book should be a must read for anyone making decisions within any part of the food industry.”  (Blog Business World, 27 July 2013)