Understanding the social controversies over agricultural Biotechnology
Robust intellectual property protection for GE technologies stimulated a shift in agricultural chemical companies toward “an integrated pesticide and seed sector” that over a relatively short time has concentrated the seed industry into a few large companies. This evolution in the biotech industry has, in part, contributed to a polarized dialogue around technological changes in the food system, especially in the US. Proponents and opponents of the technology each have common viewpoints that frame the issues in support of their perspective. Concerns of GE critics include the lack of safety data for the consumer, insufficient government regulation, and potential ecological impacts. GE advocates, including policy makers, focus on the contributions of the technology to food security and environmental sustainability. The conflicting strategies of the two sides are not contributing to greater social consensus on GE technology in the food system.
Agricultural biotechnology; sustainability; stewardship; genetical engineering; GMO; GE crops; resistance; resistance management; coexistence; seed industry; labeling; insect resistance