Authors & Events
Jul 20, 2012
| ISBN 9780262517744
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Jul 20, 2012 | ISBN 9780262517744
An examination of how advocates for alternative agriculture confront “science-based” regulation of genetically engineered crops.
Genetic engineering has a wide range of cultural, economic, and ethical implications, yet it has become almost an article of faith that regulatory decisions about biotechnology be based only on evidence of specific quantifiable risks; to consider anything else is said to “politicize” regulation. In this study of social protest against genetically engineered food, Abby Kinchy turns the conventional argument on its head. Rather than consider politicization of the regulatory system, she takes a close look at the scientization of public debate about the “contamination” of crops resulting from pollen drift and seed mixing. Advocates of alternative agriculture confront the scientization of this debate by calling on international experts, carrying out their own research, questioning regulatory science in court, building alternative markets, and demanding that their governments consider the social and economic impacts of the new technologies.
Kinchy focuses on social conflicts over canola in Canada and maize in Mexico, drawing out their linkages to the global food system and international environmental governance. The book ultimately demonstrates the shortcomings of dominant models of scientific risk governance, which marginalize alternative visions of rural livelihoods and sustainable food production.
Seeds, Science, and Struggle is one of the most comprehensive and best-communicated stories about transgenes for an interdisciplinary audience I have encountered.—Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences—
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