SAS Colloquium Series: Suicide Seeds and Silver Bullets: India’s Contribution to Resolving the Global GMO Puzzle - Ron Herring

Event time: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Location: 
Henry R. Luce Hall (LUCE ), 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Why is the GMO widely normalized in some countries but stigmatized, prohibited, or restricted in others? There is no simple – certainly no robust or parsimonious – explanation for differences in diffusion of agricultural biotechnology across countries or across time – different crops, different traits, different producers, in different agro-ecologies. Variables that delineate common political rifts in international politics– North/South; East/West; Rich/Poor; Democratic/Authoritarian – fail to explain variation. A full explanation must consider not only costs and benefits to multiple actors in different societies, but also the special nature of risk politics, including the social psychology of risk, cognition, and information in national and transnational politics. Nevertheless, quite variable episodes of contention exhibit an underlying dimension of politics around a social risk-utility balance, filtered through structures of regulatory mechanisms and their associated political ecologies. India’s tumultuous politics around rural – but not urban – biotechnology helps explain puzzles in the global picture and by implication points to the end of the GMO as political pivot.

Open to: 
undergraduate