New Article: “Essential Features of Responsible Governance of Agricultural Biotechnology”

12.05.2016

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In this paper we argue that changes to the governance of agricultural biotechnologies have become particularly urgent as new genomic tools and products (such as CRISPR-Cas9, RNAi, synthetic biology, and GM animals) are emerging into a milieu where the controversies surrounding GM crops remain unresolved.

Much of the current debate around these new genomic tools and products is focused on whether or not they fit within existing regulatory frameworks. However, we believe it is also important to consider whether or not those frameworks are sufficient for addressing the issues that continue to generate controversy in this field.

The five essential features of responsible governance of agricultural biotechnology we propose as necessary to address these issues are: Commitment to candour; Recognition of underlying values and assumptions; Involvement of a broad range of knowledge and actors; Consideration of a range of alternatives; Preparedness to respond.

By presenting these five essential features and describing how social scientists have been working to advance them, this article seeks to show how ideas from several fields can be fruitfully integrated into a common framework to advance scientifically and socially responsible forms of governance for existing and emerging agricultural biotechnologies.

Use this link if you want to read the entire article

Hartley, S., Gillund, F., van Hove, L. and Wickson, F. (2016). “Essential Features of Responsible Governance of Agricultural Biotechnology“, PLoS Biology 14(5): e1002453. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002453

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