Cultural Politics and the Transatlantic Divide over GMOs: by Hannes R. Stephan;

By Hannes R. Stephan;

What money owed for the transatlantic divide over the law of genetically transformed organisms? along political associations and monetary dynamics, cultural values and identities have additionally performed a severe function. Stephan contrasts common issues over the 'unnaturalness' of GMOs in Europe with extra utilitarian attitudes within the US. In Europe, nutrients and agriculture are heavily attached to optimistic pictures of 'nature', whereas americans have usually reserved such admiration for pristine 'wilderness'. by means of tracing the historic improvement of 'environmental identities' on either continents the writer indicates that divergent cultural contexts form public opinion and the narratives of anti-GMO hobbies. Many Europeans regard GMOs as a logo for a number of troubling cultural and socio-economic alterations. regardless of expanding public competition, such a lot american citizens nonetheless see them during the lens of risk-benefit assessment. hence, via various levels of political strain and customer boycotts, cultural components strongly impact regulatory frameworks on each side of the Atlantic.

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2001: 23). The ‘bifurcation’ of attitudes vis-à-vis ‘red’ biotechnology and agricultural (‘green’) biotechnology was also taking shape in those years. While new medical treatments and drugs were largely welcomed, ‘green’ agbiotech applications met with an ambivalent and frequently apprehensive response (Torgersen et al. 2002: 59). Scientific progress in biotechnology proceeded apace during the 1990s, but commercialisation was never going to be a straightforward task. The quest for patents and marketing expertise encouraged intraindustry cooperation and produced highly contingent trajectories of product development.

Rather than giving some breathing space to European political elites, it appeared Overview of Regulatory Frameworks and Public Opinion 33 to demonstrate their unwillingness to take full account of citizens’ preferences and widespread, multi-faceted concerns over GMOs. As ‘a wave of scepticism flowed over Europe, the process of product approval ground swiftly to a halt’ (Grabner et al. 2001: 28). Consequently, member state obstructionism continued to strengthen and, at a meeting of the Environment Council in early 1998, eventually spilt over into an informal de facto moratorium on new GMO authorisations.

Scholars have identified divergent ‘policy styles’ which denote ‘central and distinguishing features of policymaking and implementation’ in the US and the EU (Skogstad 2006: 215). These styles are also heavily shaped by a polity’s historically evolved practice of food safety regulation and its dominant understanding of the role of science and technology. Skogstad thus identifies a US policy style marked by ‘adversarial legalism’ whereby a host of dispersed and often underfunded state actors seek expertise and support from other bureaucratic and societal actors.

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