Genetics 4 6/3/2013 5:58:00 AM
GMOs and Monosantrocities
GE and not people – economic issues; property; unintended consequences;
Framing: debates over GMOs not purely technical
Technical Progressivism (Klienmann) of GM proponents
Risk and uncertainty very closely linked and feed off each other. Can be distinguished.
To associate natural with good is a fallacy.
Yuk factor (closer to humans the more controversial), monoculture/polycultural agriculture
(), TINA (there is no alternative)
Promotion of GE often relies on Kleinmanns progressivism – if your against it your against
1) Monoculture agriculture (imo, the biggest issue) – growing one crop in one location.
monocultures more efficient to manage, but more susceptible to disease, insects.
‘factory farming’ – idea that you standardize everything; mechanized.
2) claims that there is no alternative to GE because..
climate change means we have to adopt crops to weird weather
we need higher yields for higher pop
BUT there are always alternatives in cultural/political frame:
World already grows enough food, its not distributed properly
Vocab: precautionary principle (), Risk, Uncertainty, Cognitive map, thought-community,
Opponents to GE emphasize its risk; advocates have to respond – this makes everything
look like technical disputes based on evidence. Talking about risk means danger – a
‘sciency’ way to invoke danger. Risk-talk appeals to fear, insecurity – fear an effective
The ‘precautionary principle’ – one formal expression of this approach. Basically if
it could cause risk/harm people we should not do it, it is up to the developers to
The emphasis is on caution.
Risk means different things to different people; someti