chapter  2
Ethical Issues and BST
WithPaul B. Thompson
Pages 18

This chapter examines some of the issues where controversy over ethical ideals and beliefs may lie just beneath the surface of controversy over facts. Extension of ethical concern to farm animals and to environmental impacts is also hotly debated. The ethical character of the Bovine somatotropin (BST) debate changed drastically when claims about the safety of drinking milk from cows treated with BST became a contested issue. BST is on the scene because a few hundred individuals made research and development decisions over a half decade. Consumer groups were reacting to uncertainty, to a problem in deciding who to believe about BST and milk. In understanding the way that ethics bear upon risk and uncertainty, it is crucial to see that all of the consumer's information about the safety of BST is subject to a conditional probability that the source of that information is ignorant or, worse, dishonest.