Tag Archives: GM

  • Governing Agricultural Sustainability: Global lessons from GM crops




    Although GM crops are seen by their advocates as a key component of the future of world agriculture and as part of the solution for world poverty and hunger, their uptake has not been smooth nor universal: they have been marred by controversy and all too commonly their regulation has been challenged as inadequate, even […]




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  • For or against GM crops? Other positions are available




    Academic cheerleaders for biotechnology corporations need better arguments if they want to persuade the public, write Erik Millstone, Andy Stirling and Dominic Glover, introducing their article in a forthcoming edition of Issues in Science and Technology (PDF). Companies involved in crop genetic engineering (GE) see themselves as principled heroes in a struggle against opportunistic reactionaries. […]




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  • GM report: Some nice recommendations, shame about the spin




    The UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology has today released its long-awaited report on ‘Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution’. The ESRC STEPS Centre welcomes the moves made by the Committee – as reflected in the report title – to somewhat broaden out the original narrow terms of the […]




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  • Synthetic Biology & Global Health – Claire Marris seminar




    Synthetic Biology & Global Health: How to move beyond the promises/perils framing? Claire Marris, King’s College London A seminar co-organised by Centre for Bionetworking, STEPS Centre and Centre for Global Health Policy In a speech announcing the UK’s “eight great technologies” in 2012, Chancellor George Osborne stated that “synthetic biology will heal us, heat [us] […]




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  • The precautionary principle must be retained, unless we are willing to be reckless with our common future




    Guest blog by Rupert Read I recently submitted evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry on GM food and the Precautionary Principle. Unfortunately, as you’ll see intimated at the outset of my remarks there, I have relatively little faith in the inquiry. It seems to me that the inquiry’s terms have […]




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  • GM Food and the precautionary principle




    “Precaution does not necessarily mean a ban. It simply urges that time and space be found to get things right.” Professor Andy Stirling, writing in the Guardian Overview The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee is carrying out an inquiry into genetically modified (GM) foods and the way in which these are regulated in Europe […]




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  • GM Nation or GM Planet? How to involve citizens in decisions about transgenic crops




    The UK’s GM Nation? public debate – conducted over a decade ago, tried to include the voices of citizens in decision-making over transgenic crops. With recent decisions by China and India possibly signalling a shift of opinion against GM in these ‘rising powers’, what kinds of institutions are required to enable democratic governance of these […]




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  • GM Crops: Continuing controversy




    By Ian Scoones, STEPS Centre Director In 2002, the international press was full of headlines such as ‘Starving Zimbabwe Shuns GM Maize’. This was repeated again in 2010. The context was the refusal to import whole-grain GM maize from South Africa, as regulatory approval had not been granted, and there were fears that the food […]




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  • Investing in Food security? Philanthrocapitalism, biotechnology and development




    Sally Brooks, University of York This paper traces the evolution of philanthropic involvement in developing country agriculture from the ‘scientific philanthropy’ of the Rockefeller Foundation during and after the Green Revolution era to the ‘philathrocapitalism’ of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, by examining two cases of ‘pro-poor’ agricultural biotechnology research: pro-Vitamin A-enriched ‘Golden Rice’ […]




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  • Responses to frequently asked questions on genetically-modified crops and development




    GM Rice / BASF / Flickr Creative Commons By Andy Stirling, co-director of the STEPS Centre   Questions are never far from the headlines about how the world can farm more fairly, sustainably and productively. What is meant by these qualities varies greatly – including differing ways to raise income for poor farmers, improve nutrition, reduce environmental […]




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