Genetically Modified Diplomacy

The Global Politics of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment

Peter Andree

  • Published: 2007. Paperback 2008
  • Subject Listing: Environmental Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 336 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

When genetically engineered seeds were first deployed in the Americas in the mid-1990s, the biotechnology industry and its partners envisaged a world in which their crops would be widely accepted as the food of the future, providing a growing population with improved nutrition and offering farmers more sustainable production options. Critics, however, raised a variety of social, environmental, economic, and health concerns regarding engineered crops. This clash in perspectives led to a protracted international struggle over the establishment of regulations for genetically engineered organisms (GEOs).

Genetically Modified Diplomacy traces the emergence of a key outcome of this struggle - the 2000 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety - and the discourse of precaution toward GEOs that the protocol institutionalized internationally. The precautionary view is a significant departure from the way the biotechnology industry first presented GEOs to the world. Peter Andrée explains this reversal in the "common-sense" understanding of genetic engineering, and discusses the new debates it has engendered.

Genetically Modified Diplomacy will be of particular interest to readers in the fields of environmental politics, biotechnology, and international relations.
Peter Andrée is an assistant professor of political science at Carleton University.

"An exceptionally well written, theoretically sophisticated, and timely book. Andrée has provided an important service to readers who have an interest in understanding in fine detail the complex nature of environmental politics in a globalizing world."
-Michael D. Mehta, editor of Biotechnology Unglued: Science, Society, and Social Cohesion
1. Theorizing International Environmental Diplomacy
2. The Biotech Bloc
3. The Ideational Politics of Genetic Engineering
4. Biosafety as a Field of International Politics
5. Staking out Positions
6. A Precautionary Protocol
7. The Politics of Precaution in the Wake of the Cartagena Protocol