University of Minnesota

European Association for Bioindustries (EUROPABIO), Core Ethical Values (1998).

EuropaBio, the European Association for BioIndustries, represents 47 multinational operating corporate members and 12 national associations (totalling around 600 small and medium-sized enterprises) involved in the research, development, testing, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of biotechnology products and services in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, food and the environment.

The biotechnology industry recognises its responsibility to encourage, through dialogue, better mutual understanding of ethical concerns. These concerns include any cultural or religious aspects, related to biotechnology, possible environmental impact, and the adequacy of regulations.

These Core Ethical Values are addressed to consumers, patients, the agricultural community, politicians, legislators, the media, organisations and others who wish to know about the key ethical values that underpin our work. All members of EuropaBio share these Core Ethical Values.

Since biotechnology is innovative and rapidly developing, these Core Ethical Values may be modified over time to address new issues and new insights that arise in the future.

General principles

We are committed to realising the potential of biotechnology to improve the quality of human life.

We give priority to health, safety, and environmental protection when undertaking the research, development, manufacture and distribution of our products and services.

We develop and use biotechnology with full respect for human dignity and human rights.

We communicate and share information about biotechnology and its derived products and services in a balanced manner, stating both benefits and risks.

We engage in a dialogue with those concerned about ethical and societal implications of biotechnology.

We treat animals in a respectful manner and, when at all possible, we limit their use in research. Any disproportionate suffering to animals involved in our research and/or other parts of our work is avoided and the highest standards of well-being are maintained.

We support the conservation of biological diversity.

We oppose the use of biotechnology to make any weapons and will not develop or produce biological weapons.

We support the exchange of biotechnology between developed and developing countries duly considering each country’s cultural values.


We respect the codes of ethics of the healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat disease, and who prescribe, dispense, and use our products or make use of our services whether in research, development or patient care.

We support the protection of the confidentiality of medical information, which includes genetic information.

We oppose the use or disclosure of medical information, without informed consent, or any use or disclosure which could lead to allow intolerance or stigmatisation.

We ensure, within our responsibilities, that the informed consent of all individuals participating in our research programmes, taking genetic tests or undergoing medical treatment is obtained. When individuals are unable to give their consent, it is obtained from their legal representatives according to current legislative requirements.

We do not use or support the use of cloning technologies to reproduce human beings.

We do not support human germ line gene therapy.

We support the accessibility of counselling for genetic testing.

Agriculture, Food and Environment

We support improvements in the quality of food and agricultural products, in order to enhance the world’s food supply and thereby human and animal nutrition.

We promote efficient and sustainable agriculture and support new biotechnological developments, which offer additional opportunities for farmers to protect or improve their crops and to use natural resources more effectively.

We support transparent product information to promote informed consumer choice.

We support the development of bioremediation and cleaner industrial and municipal processes through biotechnology.

All members of EuropaBio voluntarily adhere to these Core Ethical Values. Member companies shall not represent any position as being that of EuropaBio unless that position has been approved by the Board of EuropaBio.

Member companies also recognise EuropaBio’s responsibility to consider deviations by its members from these Core Ethical Values and to recommend appropriate responses after a reasonable due process.


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