The ongoing debate on the use of transgenic crops in agriculture and its possible ecological consequences is well into its third decade. Within this debate, three moral positions can be identified that rest upon different theories of normative ethics:
a consequentialist, a deontological and a virtue ethical position. Although the debate cannot be fully resolved, a closer examination of the functions of the different moral positions is warranted in order to find constructive approaches for managing the controversy. Such an examination could contribute to a more objective debate on the use of transgenic crops. As a first step
to achieve this goal the author develops criteria for ethical decision-making that integrate the different moral positions.