The Gene Revolution: GM Crops and Unequal Development

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Whether or not to embrace GM technologies is a fundamental and politically charged question facing humanity in the 21st century, particularly in light of rapidly growing populations and the unknown future impacts of climate change. The Gene Revolution is the first book to bridge the gap between the 'naysayers' and 'cheerleaders' and look at the issues and complexities facing developing and transitional countries over decisions about GM in light of the reality of what is happening on the ground. The first part of the volume looks at the rise of GM crops, commercialization and spread of the technology and the different positions of the USA and the European Union on the GM question and the effect of global markets. The second part consists of country perspectives from Argentina, Brazil, China, India and South Africa, which provide insight into the profound challenges these countries face and the hard choices that have to be made. The final part takes the analysis a step further by comparing developing and transitional country experiences, and charts a future course for government policy on GM that supports growth, sustainability and equity for the many billions of people affected worldwide.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'A much needed antidote to the highly polemical writing on both sides of the this issue'
Raymond C. Oppenheiser, President, Oxfam America

'...a hugely valuable contribution to the dialogue and debate surrounding the future of genetic technologies for developing countries.'
New Agriculturist

'An accessible introduction to the food and environmental policy issues posed by the Gene Revolution ... should be required reading!'
Vernon W. Ruttan, University of Minnesota

'Shows how biotechnology research and development could be fostered on the principle of social inclusion in access to its fruits ... [and] clearly elucidates the pathway to avoiding the addition of the genetic divide to the other divides prevailing globally and nationally'
Professor M. S. Swaminathan, Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, Government of India

'An indispensable guide for evidence-based discussions on the institutional aspects of biotechnology'
Calestous Juma, Harvard University, USA

'Should the developing world embrace genetically modified crops? Should NGOs and development advocates get fully on board? Read this book to understand why the answer is, absolutely, yes ... and to explore what the conversation now should be really about: the policy and institutional fixes in patents, licensing, seed marketing, biosafety regulation, and more that will ensure the potential benefits of the agro-tech revolution reach the world's poor'
Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844074099
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr is a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School, in New York City. She was Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and from 1995-2004 she was Director and chief author of UNDP's Human Development Reports including the 2001 Report: Making New Technologies Work for Human Development.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables and Boxes     xi
List of Contributors     xiv
Glossary of Commonly Used Terms     xx
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations     xxiv
Preface     xxix
National Development Priorities and the Role of Institutions: Framing the Issues
Introduction: Genetically Modified Crops and National Development Priorities   Sakiko Fukuda-Parr     3
Why this book?     3
What are genetically modified crops?     4
Developing country priorities     6
Five policy objectives: Beyond poverty and hunger     6
Agenda for global integration and social equity     8
Concerns of opposition movements     9
Local priorities, local concerns, local processes     11
The plan of the book     12
Emergence and Global Spread of GM Crops: Explaining the Role of Institutional Change   Sakiko Fukuda-Parr     15
History of GM crops: Emergence and global spread     16
Research and development     16
Commercial production     20
Technological innovation and institutional change     24
Institutional change for development and diffusion of GM crop varieties     23
Why the US leads     26
Why Europediverged     27
Why West and Central Africa have not yet adopted the new technology     29
Why the crops spread globally to Canada, Argentina, Brazil, China, India and South Africa but not elsewhere     29
Alternative institutional models     31
US: Leading Science, Technology and Commercialization   Greg Traxler     36
Introduction     36
Crop improvement research in the US     36
Regulation of GM varieties in the US     36
The US seed market     42
A model of the transfer of GM technologies to developing countries     46
Summary     49
Europe: Turning Against Agricultural Biotechnology in the Late 1990s   Yves Tiberghien     51
Introduction     51
Overview: The sequence of policy change from 1980 until 2005     52
Economic interests of stakeholders in Europe     53
Support for R&D in biotechnology since the early 1980s and intellectual property rights protection     56
Research and development     56
Intellectual property rights     58
Record of crop approval since early 1990s (including after the 1998-2004 moratorium)     58
Regulation: Environmental assessment, labelling, Cartagena Protocol and trade impacts      60
Sequence of regulatory moves regarding safety assessments and environmental assessments     60
Environment impact assessment: Regulations and politics     61
Labelling     61
Impact on trade policy and trade flows     62
Role in Cartagena Protocol for Biosafety     63
A political explanation of the move towards strong precautionary policies     63
Future perspectives: Towards new regulations on coexistence?     65
West and Central Africa: Strategizing Biotechnology for Food Security and Poverty Reduction   Marcel Nwalozie   Paco Sereme   Harold Roy-Macauley   Walter Alhassan     69
Introduction     69
Biotechnology in the context of national/subregional priorities     71
The potential of biotechnology in meeting national priorities     71
The constraints     72
Embracing the new initiative: Engaging the region     73
CORAF/WECARD's approach to agricultural biotechnology research and development in the subregion     73
The research and development agenda     74
Priority setting process     74
The programme     75
Product development and delivery focus     76
Investments required for agricultural biotechnology in West and Central Africa      78
Institutional challenges     79
Seed systems     79
Intellectual property right issues     81
Dual approach to supporting product development and delivery     81
Public information and communication for biotechnology     82
GM Crops for Development: The Experience of Argentina, Brazil, China, India, South Africa
Argentina: Adopting RR Soy, Economic Liberalization, Global Markets and Socio-economic Consequences   Daniel Chudnovsky     85
Background     85
The diffusion of GM crops     87
The seed industry     89
Biosafety and other regulations     90
Institutional factors in the diffusion of GM crops     91
Research and development efforts     94
Economic and social impacts     96
Distribution of benefits among farmers and input suppliers     96
Concluding remarks     99
Brazil: Confronting the Challenges of Global Competition and Protecting Biodiversity   Jose Maria F.J. da Silveira   Izaias de Carvalho Borges     104
Introduction     104
Modern biotechnology research in Brazil: Activities and achievements     105
Overview     105
Genomic and proteomic research      107
Brazilian 'in house' agricultural biotechnology: Some considerations     108
Institutional environment     108
Research infrastructure and financing     109
Training of human resources     110
Intellectual property rights and GM crops     110
The biosafety law     111
Seed companies     113
Commercial production of GM crops in Brazil     114
Socio-economic issues     116
Farm income impact assessments     116
Other socio-economic issues     118
Identity preservation and market impact     120
Conclusion     122
China: Emerging Public Sector Model for GM Crop Development   Jikun Huang   Ruifa Hu   Scott Rozelle   Carl Pray     130
Introduction     130
Agricultural biotechnology development and policy     131
Goals and strategies     131
Benefits from GM crops     133
Development priorities     134
Building national capacity in R&D     135
Agricultural biotechnology research programmes and institutions     135
Agricultural biotechnology research capacity and investment     136
Remaining challenges      139
Agricultural GM product biosafety regulation     139
Institutional setting     139
Biosafety regulations     140
Remaining challenges     144
Commercial dissemination: Policy shifts and impacts     145
Intellectual property rights     145
The seed industry     147
Policy shifts and the impact on producer efficiency     147
Identifying the differences in efficiency     148
Concluding remarks     149
India: Confronting the Challenge - The Potential of Genetically Modified Crops for the Poor   Bharat Ramaswami   Carl E. Pray     156
Introduction     156
Poverty reduction and GM crops: The links     157
Government policies: Objectives, priorities, commitment     158
Public sector research: Agenda and results     159
Biotechnology in the private sector     160
Biosafety regulation: How has it worked?     161
The 'illegal' seeds     162
Implementation process: Political economy dynamics     163
The surplus from Bt cotton: Distribution of gains among farmers, consumers and seed companies     165
GM cotton seeds market: Is it competitive?     168
Revisiting the impact of GM crops on the poor     170
South Africa: Revealing the Potential and Obstacles, the Private Sector Model and Reaching the Traditional Sector   Marnus Gouse     175
Introduction     175
History and background     176
History of agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified crops in South Africa     176
Agricultural sector: Dualistic structure and liberalization reforms     178
Farm level yield and income impacts for small-scale farmers in South Africa     179
Small scale farmers and Bt cotton: Makhatini Flats experience     179
Subsistence farmers: Bt maize experience     182
R&D in the public and private sectors     183
Institutional challenges for R&D     183
Policy initiatives to encourage biotechnology R&D     186
Biosafety regulation     187
Intellectual property rights     188
Marketing of seeds and products     189
The seed market     189
GM free export markets     191
Labelling     192
Policy challenges and conclusions     193
Comparing and Analysing Developing Country Experiences
Institutional Changes in Argentina, Brazil, China, India and South Africa   Sakiko Fukuda-Parr     199
Commercial production      201
Trends: Diffusion outpaces approvals     201
Within country differences in diffusion rates     202
Institutional factors in diffusion     203
Developing R&D capacity     204
Outputs     204
Scope of investment     213
Institutional approaches     214
Creating a regulated seed market: Biosafety controls, intellectual property and seed marketing     216
Emerging business models for seed development and commercialization     218
The Role of Government Policy: For Growth, Sustainability and Equity   Sakiko Fukuda-Parr     222
Government policy: Objectives     222
Global integration agenda: Technology and markets     223
Social equity agendas     225
Local contexts: National policy, stakeholders     227
Government Policy: Tools     228
Support to R&D     230
Biosafety legislation     231
Patents     232
GM crops for poverty reduction and food security: The path not yet taken?     233
Index     238
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