10+ years of research into genetically-modified crops, development and the global food crisis
The STEPS biotechnology research archive consists of evidence-based research spanning more than ten years. A series of core projects, supported by DFID, the ESRC and the Rockefeller Foundation among others, provide the foundation of the archive. But there is much else besides, with some work stretching back to the early 1990s, and recent work focusing on contemporary experiences with GM crops across the world.
The archive is organised into four themes:
Theme 2 – Regulating GM crops
Within each theme the archive is split in to one general and several regional sections, covering Africa, China, India and Latin America.
About the archive
Genetically-modified (GM) crops are sometimes trumpeted as the solution to the global food crisis, and the route to transforming developing agriculture and reducing poverty for millions. For others they spell doom and disaster, bringing with them unacceptable environmental and safety risks.
But what is the reality? Over the past ten years, GM crops – particularly transgenic insect-resistant crop varieties – have been used widely by farmers in different parts of the developing world. What has been the impact on agricultural production and poverty? What institutional, regulatory and wider policy issues arise?
Our Biotechnology Research Archive explores these issues by drawing on more than a decade of research from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe as well as highlighting brand new research.
As the world faces a major challenge to feed a growing population, to what degree, can GM crops really make a substantive contribution to increasing food production and strengthening livelihood security? Should European governments and aid agencies back a GM-led push towards boosting agricultural production across the world? What governance measures are required in order to ensure that new technologies work for the poor?
Selected relevant materials
- Brooks, S. (2013) “Biofortification: lessons from the Golden Rice project”, Food Chain, 3(1-2) 77-88
- Biotechnology and its configurations: GM cotton production on large and small farms in Argentina by Patrick van Zwanenberg and Valeria Arza, Technology and Society, February 2013
- “How might agricultural biotechnology help poor farmers in Developing Countries?” Presentation by Erik Millstone to the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute for Food Science & Technology, February 2010
- id21 Viewpoints: GM Crops
- Eldis Biotechnology & Development Key Issues Guide
- Erik Millstone on the Ethics of GM Crop Development (presentation on Slideshare)