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Epistemic brokerage in the bio-property narrative: contributions to explaining opposition to transgenic technologies in agriculture

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
34057 45000 2010 9 PDF Available
Title
Epistemic brokerage in the bio-property narrative: contributions to explaining opposition to transgenic technologies in agriculture
Abstract

Unlike some global contentions – abolition of slavery, or universal franchise, for example – the rift over rDNA crops is not about ultimate values. Improvement of farmer welfare and enhanced sustainability of agriculture are universally valued goals. However, means to those ends are politically disputed; that dispute depends on alternative empirical stories about biotechnology, sometimes even alternative epistemologies. Opposition revolves around two fundamental dimensions: bio-safety and bio-property. There is convergence of these dimensions around exceptional risk and vulnerability to corporate control of farmers, but these are analytically separable questions of fact. This paper concentrates on bio-property. Epistemic brokers have successfully established knowledge claims that simultaneously undermine the case for rDNA technologies as potential contributors to development and motivate opposition. Epistemic brokers command authority from their positions at junctures of networks, enabling the screening, weighting, theorizing and diffusion of contentious empirical accounts. In contentions of low information, high information costs and diffuse anxiety, these claims provide cognitive support for opposition to ‘GMOs’. Specifically, claims of patents, monopoly corporate control and terminator technology have diffused to and from India in global networks. Though effective in transnational advocacy networks, these claims have proved either false or inconsistent with dynamics on the ground.

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Epistemic brokerage in the bio-property narrative: contributions to explaining opposition to transgenic technologies in agriculture
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: New Biotechnology - Volume 27, Issue 5, 30 November 2010, Pages 614–622
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
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Price was $35.95
You save - $31
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