Social exclusion and transgenic technology: the case of Brazilian agriculture

Hall, Jeremy, Matos, Stelvia and Langford, Cooper H (2008) Social exclusion and transgenic technology: the case of Brazilian agriculture. Journal of Business Ethics, 77 (1). pp. 45-63. ISSN 0167-4544

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Many argue that transgenic technology will have wide-ranging implications for farmers in developing nations. A key concern is that competencies may be destroyed by predominantly foreign multinational transgenic technologies, exacerbating problems of social exclusion in the case of subsistence farmers. Conversely, those that fail to adopt the technology may become uncompetitive, particularly in commodity-based export markets. Drawing on interview data conducted in Brazil and supporting data collected in North America, Europe and China, we found that the impact of transgenic technology varies. It has less impact on farmers that adapt the products to their crop systems and environment, and greater negative implications for less formally educated subsistence farmers in consequence of both complexity and compatibility. Earlier attempts at industrializing agriculture through technological innovation led to vastly improved agricultural output and exports, but the benefits of productivity was not equitably distributed [D. Lee: 2005, American Journal of Agricultural Economics 87(5), 1325–1334], nor was it designed to meet specific local environmental and socioeconomic farmer conditions, exacerbating social exclusion. Multinationals attempting to introduce transgenic technology without considering the broader social and ethical implications will invite resistance. We discuss the implications for policy makers, multinationals and small-scale farmers.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Tahir Beydola
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2019 10:54
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2019 11:04
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