The Swiss constitution now protects plants from geneticists “trampling on a plant’s dignity.”
Yep, when Dr. Beat Keller, a molecular biologist at the University of Zurich, wanted to genetically modify wheat to make it resistant to a fungus, he had to get government’s permission and promise not to “disturb the vital functions or lifestyle” of the plants. (See details from The Wall Street Journal.)
A 22-page treatise on “the moral consideration of plants for their own sake” states that vegetation has an inherent value and that it is immoral to arbitrarily harm plants.
I love plantsespecially stir-friedbut I’m not sure I’m an advocate of plant rights. In fact, the Swiss seem to have holes in more than just their cheese. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical, if plants have rights, that 15 percent of pregnancies in Switzerland end in abortion? That would seem to seriously “disturb the vital functions or lifestyle” of the unborn. Hmmm?