Few scientific developments have given rise to as much controversy as biotechnology. Numerous groups are united in their opposition, expressing concern over environmental and health risks, impacts on rural livelihoods, the economic dominance of multinational companies and the ethical implications of crossing species boundaries. Among the supporters of the technology are those that believe in its potential to enhance food security, further economic development, increase productivity and reduce environmental pressures. As a result, countries - and sectors within countries - find themselves at odds with each other while potential opportunities for development offered by the use of biotechnology are seized or missed, and related risks go unmanaged.
This book, a unique interdisciplinary collection of perspectives from the developing world, examines the ongoing debate. Writing for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, leading experts address issues such as diffusion of technology, intellectual property rights, the Cartagena Protocol, impacts of international trade, capacity building and biotechnology research and regulation. With the most recent and relevant examples from around the world, Trading in Genes offers the reader a single-volume overview of the connections between biotechnology, trade and sustainability that is both wide-ranging and thorough.
Tom Bigg is a Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).