Agricultural Biotechnology: Issues for Biosafety Governance in Asian Countries
AbstractThe past decade has seen a rapid increase in the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops. This is generally attributed to two main reasons: intellectual property protection that has stimulated large investments in agricultural biotechnology (Cuffaro, 2002, p35) and increased profits for farmers accruing (Traxler et al, 1999; Falck-Zepeda, Traxler and Nelson, 2001). But in real terms, the adoption of GM crops reflects a trade off - the crops may reduce some fixed costs, like costs of insecticides for farmers, but on the other hand, they increase other costs like seed costs or costs due to adverse environmental impacts (Cuffaro, 2002, p35). Minimising the potential environmental and social impacts of GM crops is a precondition for realising their advantages. The potential risks imposed by GM crops on the environment can be grouped into four main categories - the creation of invasive weeds, the creation of invasive insect species, loss of agricultural diversity due to monocultures and contamination of wild pools of the species in question. This paper analyses the gravity of these impacts and the issues of governance that they raise, specifically within the context of Asian countries. It looks at the changing industrial structure in agricultural biotechnology, emerging research priorities and patterns, expected benefits and issues that participation and use of such technologies raise for developing countries in Asia.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University, Institute for New Technologies in its series Discussion Papers with number 13.
Date of creation: 2004
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Agricultural Biotechnology; Genetic Engineering; Crops; GM Crops; Biosafety; Biodiversity; Environmental Aspects; Environmental Policy; Asia;
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