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LECTURE GEOG 270 Fall 2007 December 3, 2007 Joe Hannah, PhD Department of Geography PowerPoint Presentation
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LECTURE GEOG 270 Fall 2007 December 3, 2007 Joe Hannah, PhD Department of Geography University of Washington. GMO Recap and Wrap-up. Last Time. Food Security (“chameleon word” – saturated with politics!) Debate: GMOs and hunger (“Naming and Framing”)

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slide1
LECTURE

GEOG 270

Fall 2007

December 3, 2007

Joe Hannah, PhD

Department of Geography

University of Washington

last time
Last Time
  • Food Security (“chameleon word” – saturated with politics!)
  • Debate: GMOs and hunger (“Naming and Framing”)
  • Case study from Zerbe article: southern Africa food crisis (2002), American food Aid, and local policy responses
gmo topic recap wrap up
GMO topic Recap/Wrap-up
  • “Green Revolution”
  • “Gene Revolution” (GMO crops)
green revolution
Green Revolution
  • Malthusian Premise: While we work on reducing fertility, we can also increase food production
  • Remember the context of the 1960s:
    • Erhlich’s Population Bomb
    • “Modernization” and the promise of technology
  • Scientific, plant-breeding approach -- HYVs
hyv characteristics
HYV Characteristics
  • large-yield,
  • dwarf stock,
  • disease and pest resistant (among other things)
  • Hybrid crops – can’t collect seeds
top down
Top-down
  • Started by Governments and Foundations (like Rockefeller),
    • Not “requested” by Third World farmers
  • Later largely financed by WB, UN (FAO, UNDP, UNEP)
  • Set up plant breading and other research projects

Essentially a Keynesian approach to development.

critiques of the green revolution
Increased use of chemicals, water, mechanization

Water pollution, other environmental problems

Monocultures, decreased biodiversity

Economics favored rich farmers

Technologies encouraged increased debt and consequent land consolidation

Broke down social relations in communities, increased conflict

Critiques of the Green Revolution
gene revolution
“Gene Revolution”
  • Combining genes from one species with another to create specific traits
  • Undertaken by private companies
  • Originally (and fundamentally) a technology developed for profit
  • Malthusian and humanitarian arguments as well

Essentially a Neo-liberal approach to development.

i gmo basic science e g bacillus thuringiensis bt
I. GMO Basic Science:e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

http://www.scq.ubc.ca/?p=262

http://www.biotech.iastate.edu/biotech_info_series/bio9.html

http://www.ent.iastate.edu/imagegal/plantpath/corn/ecb/bteardam.html

ii naming and framing in the gmo debate
II. “Naming and Framing” in the GMO Debate
  • Food Security / Feeding the World
  • Increased yields – fact or fiction?
  • Environmental risk
  • Capitalism & Farm Incomes

e.g., McGloughlin vs. Altieri & Rossett

iii resistance and social movements kacy mckinney s talk on mst land and gmos in brazil
III. Resistance and Social Movements:Kacy McKinney’s talk onMST, Land and GMOs in Brazil
  • Interesting case of stakeholder response
  • “Landless Peasants”

“Land should be used to fulfill its larger social functions.”

gmos a threat a rallying point
GMOs: A threat? A rallying point?
  • Against legalization of GMOs (successful until 2004)
  • Lobby, demonstrate, raise awareness
  • Exposed illegal plantings
  • GMOs promoted by MNCs: “Privatization of development?”
  • Roles of state, corporations, social movements: Peaceful? Violent?
iv three criteria for gmo business
IV. Three Criteria for GMO Business

Science

Profitability

GMOs

Law

Essentially a Neo-liberal approach to development.

three criteria
Three Criteria
  • Science (expensive, risky investments, located in the First-World)
  • Profits (corporations: recoup investments, expand markets)
  • Law
    • IPR
    • “Free trade”
    • “Permissive” environment
v policy responses in third world countries
V. Policy Responses in Third World Countries
  • Countries must respond to pressures to adopt GMOs
  • Policy responses are complex – corporate lobbying, trade policy, bilateral relations, responses of diverse interests within the country
  • Neo-liberal/Keynesian? Precautionary/Permissive? (e.g. US vs. Europe)
permissive vs precautionary approaches
“Permissive” vs. “Precautionary” Approaches
  • “Permissive Approach” favors allowing an activity to continue until proof of either no effect or a negative impact is obtained.
  • “Precautionary” approach favors constraining an activity when there is high scientific uncertainty regarding its effects on the natural environment;
vi food security and food aid
VI. Food Security and Food Aid
  • What is Food Security?
  • GMOs and Food Security debate:
    • “Food gap” & “Productivity gap” vs.
    • Need soc-political change, not commercialized technology
  • Case study of Southern Africa food crisis: different countries, different GMO policy responses
the gmo issue unresolved
The GMO Issue: Unresolved
  • What should be done?
  • Should Third World countries be encouraged to adopt? (increased yields, less chemicals, etc.)
  • Or should they resist? (unknown effects, genetic pollution, food safety, etc.)
  • What about US domestic policy? (labeling, subsidies to farmers, food aid, etc.)
the global food system
The Global Food System
  • Shiva: Global food supply has been “hijacked” by corporate interests:
  • Neo-liberal approach to food distribution (exemplified by GMOs and “privatized development”) makes the marginalized more vulnerable, leads to more hunger and more violence
  • Should food be a commodity or a right?