Modern Agricultural Biotechnology And Its Potential Usefulness And Effectiveness

961 WordsOct 23, 20154 Pages
Debates over modern agricultural biotechnology and its potential usefulness and effectiveness are often characterized by deeply polarized stances. Proponents, which include industry advocates as well as some scholars, tout the benefits of increased agricultural productivity leading to positive outcomes for poor and small-scale farmers, as well as hunger alleviation - while critics outline potential negative impacts of this technological package, highlighting the polarization of agrarian social structures, concerns over food security, and detrimental environmental effects. Gerardo Otero’s edited volume Food for the Few situates this debate in the context of the developing world, and specifically examines the introduction of agricultural biotechnology to Latin America. The book’s focus is on the social dimensions of biotechnology, and more specifically on examining the complex relationship between modes of agricultural production and rural poverty. Presenting an assessment based on empirical evidence, the authors argue that there are grave indications for the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of this technology in the Latin American context, and that the optimistic predictions put forth by advocates are not only misplaced, but woefully misleading. Otero et al. maintain that while production and productivity are certainly on the rise as a result of this adopted technology, the profits from this shift are not necessarily being distributed in an equitable manner, and are

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