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GMOs and the developing world: A precautionary interpretation of biotechnology

Lookup NU author(s): Sarah Lieberman, Professor Tim Gray


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The subject of genetically modified (GM) products has raised considerable controversy in recent years, especially in developed countries, where it has led to tension over regulatory differences between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU). One aspect of this tension is its impact on developing countries, especially in Africa. The aim of this article is to explore this impact, paying particular attention to GM food aid policy and GM crop growing promotion. We use the theoretical framework of the precautionary principle (PP) to evaluate the issues involved. Our conclusion is that the EU's strong interpretation of the PP in relation to GMOs ('potential difference') currently prevails over the US's weak interpretation of the PP in relation to GMOs ('substantial equivalence') in developing countries, but that this could change as a result of non-GM crop failure and improved performance of GM crops. © Journal compilation © 2008 Political Studies Association and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lieberman S, Gray T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Politics and International Relations

Year: 2008

Volume: 10

Issue: 3

Pages: 395-411

ISSN (print): 1369-1481

ISSN (electronic): 1467-856X


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2007.00304.x


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