I blame GM crops for farmers' suicides.
CONTENTIOUS KNOWLEDGE CLAIMS: MIRACLE SEEDS AND SUICIDE SEEDS
Why would Prince Charles famously declare that farmers commit suicide because of “GM crops”? At first blush, the declaration seems counterintuitive: Farmers have adopted transgenic crops rapidly and widely over the past twelve years where they are affordable and available. Why would people whose livelihoods depend on planting the right seeds select ones that are driving their neighbors to suicide? Does global diffusion of agricultural biotechnology indicate false consciousness on the part of farmers? Are they duped or innumerate? Prince Charles did not concoct his conclusion from whole cloth, nor is he alone in his outrage over the continuing holocaust of poor farmers at the hands of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Widespread anxiety and outrage derive from authoritative knowledge claims diffused within transnational advocacy networks. Of particular importance are epistemic brokers, who occupy critical nodes at the intersection of local and global networks. Epistemic brokers select, contextualize, authenticate, sometimes theorize, and always disseminate knowledge about transgenic crops. Both networks and brokers are enabled by the historical framing of agricultural biotechnology: the lumping and splitting of recombinant DNA technologies that made the GMO.
With rapid diffusion of biotechnology has come reciprocal diffusion of frames, knowledge, and tactics to block transgenic crops. Unlike control of international air traffic or infectious diseases, no authoritative knowledge provides consensual norms for products of genetic engineering (Jasanoff 2005).
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