Introduction to Political Implications

Domestic Influences

As agricultural biotechnology has become more integrated into our daily life and food supply, it has become a controversial and important political issue. Its influence has extended beyond gene structure, and has affected international trade, national sovereignty, developing countries and national politics and has thus become an large component of current politics. Industrial agriculture corporations, in order to ensure their success, have become involved in extensive government lobbying. As a result, votes and support has gone towards the industrial agriculture bills. The US government seems to have little regard for the problematic ecological, social and economic impacts of agricultural biotechnology. Corporations and wealthy organizations have taken control of national politics.

International Influences

Outside of the US, agricultural biotechnology has also had a great influence. Oftentimes, biotechnology has been offered as an agricultural miracle, to enhance production in developing countries and provide food for an increasing population. This has proven to be problematic for local farmers and for the country as a whole, causing malnutrition, unemployment and a great loss of biodiversity. Brazilis a compelling example of this widespread scenario.

In response to the freedom and anonymity given to biotech corporations, there has been increased controversy regarding the labeling of GM foods. Within the US there has been relatively little critique of GM products. However, the European Union has held a much more critical consumer opinion. This has introduced biotechnology into international trade issues and has created new debates and relations between various countries.

I. Where the Government Stands
II. World Agricultural Trade
III. Agrilobby
IV. GM Labeling
V. Farmers in Developing Countries
VI. Industrial Agriculture in Brazil

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