Agricultural biotechnology research: Practices, consequences, and policy recommendations [Book Review]

Agriculture and Human Values 5 (3):3-14 (1988)

This paper reviews current trends in the development of agricultural biotechnology, including (1) the recent and potential biotechnology products and processes in the plant, animal and food sciences, and (2) the enormous increase in Federal and State government and industrial investments in biotechnology research. Next we analyze the impacts and possible consequences of agricultural biotechnology for public and private agricultural research and for the structure and nature of the food system in this country and around the world. We conclude with a range of proposals for agricultural research policies. Among the possible consequences we discuss are: (1) a shift in disciplinary emphasis in the research community to molecular biology, (2) reduction of research on systems, ecology, and the social sciences, (3) increased concentration of research funds at a small number of institutions, (4) reduction of long-term research in the public sector, (5) increased collaboration between industry, government and universities with a restriction of scientific communication, and a potential for conflict of interest, favoritism and increased scientific misconduct, (6) a change of the primary goals and agenda of the public sector research community, and (7) increased concentration in the agribusiness sector and the industrialization of the food system. Our policy suggestions include: (1) maintaining and strengthening an independent public research and teaching system, (2) striking a balance between short-term proprietary biotechnology and long-term nonproprietary research, (3) maintaining an extension system that delivers biotechnology information and products to all potential users, (4) developing a regulatory system that adequately protects the public and provides clear guidelines to industry. (5) assisting developing nations to reap the benefits of the biotechnology revolution, and (6) establishing mechanisms to foster broad-based understanding of the social and ethical issues relating to agricultural biotechnology and to promote research on the social and ethical impacts
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DOI 10.1007/BF02217655
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Biotechnology: The University-Industrial Complex.Martin Kenney - 1987 - Journal of the History of Biology 20 (3):429-430.

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