Shariah Attitude Towards Genetically Modified Foods: Aqli and Naqli Analysis
Keywords:biotechnology, genetically modified food, Islam, Shariah, maslahah, public interest
Genetically modified (GM) food issue has sparked the debate, particularly in the Western world, on its detrimental effects to public health and the environment. Among the GM food producers and companies, the claim for intellectual property rights arise for food products and seeds for the technology they are licensing to farmers. For some Muslims and other God-conscious people, tampering with nature by implanting genes from one organism into another which nature has not sanctioned through natural processes and such legal claims is considered to be intolerable. The ‘terminator gene’ introduced by the companies are likely to lead to monopoly and encroachment of the world agro-economics, predominantly held in the hands of conglomerates. This study examines the Shariah attitudes towards GM food using aqli and naqli approach analysis. The aqli approach used in this paper includes analysis of modern scientific research to determine the benefits and harms of GM food. The naqli approach includes examination of related legal evidences from Quran, Hadith and scholars’ view. At the same time, the relevant Shariah principles are discussed to determine the validity of GM food.