Accepted Paper:

Genetically modified crops in anthropological perspective  

Author:

Glenn Stone (Washington Univ., St. Louis)

Paper Short Abstract:

Genetically modified (GM) crops are likely to impact on food production in developing countries. This paper gives an ethnographer's perspective on GM’s potential contribution to sustainable farming. It considers impacts of GM crops on farm management skill, using examples from India and the Philippines.

Paper long abstract:

Genetically modified (GM) crops have not played a significant role in recent food crises and have had only narrow impacts on food production in developing countries. However there is the potential for GM crops to have significant direct and indirect impacts on food production in the decade. This paper first gives an ethnographer's perspective on the types of modifications that would be beneficial to sustainable farming. It then assesses the extent to which such modified crops are likely to be developed, given the current political economy of biotechnology. It then considers likely indirect impacts of GM crops, including effects on farm management skill and indigenous technical knowledge. These assessments are illustrated with ethnographic material from India and the Philippines.

Panel P081
Sustainably solving the causes and consequences of the global food crisis: new roles, multi-decade challenges and expanded opportunities for anthropologists to provide significant aid