ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Agricultural Biotechnology Development, Policy and Impact in China

China is developing the largest plant biotechnology capacity outside North America and an impressive list of genetically modified (GM) crops under trial. However, underlying these achievements is a growing concern among policy-makers about the impact of the global biotechnology debate on China's agricultural trade. Like many other developing countries, it has now to address serious questions on the future of biotechnology in the country.

Innovation and Policy Process

Biotechnology is being integrated into the existing science and technology policy process in Kenya. This process is embedded in the country's history of agricultural development, characterised by conventional technology, public goods research, and centralised and hierarchical organisation. This study employs the case study of the transgenic sweet potato project to explore how the development and introduction of modern biotechnology influence institutional and policy change in the generation and retention of (in)appropriate agricultural innovations for smallholders in Kenya.

Ensuring 'Safe Use' of Biotechnology: Key Challenges

Governing safe use of biotechnology in agriculture is a controversial new regulatory challenge facing developing countries such as India. This article identifies short- and longterm challenges to biosafety governance in India and emphasises the need for institutional mechanisms to ensure that use of biotechnology can fulfil desired societal goals. Although biosafety regimes are critical, they cannot substitute for broad institutional fora to debate the social implications of the use of biotechnology in agriculture.

Precautionary Principle under Biosafety Protocol

The essential component of the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety is the precautionary principle, which has far-reaching implications for India's export potential in agriculture and pharmaceuticals. Under this regime precaution precedes scientific proof under the pretext of risk to human health and environmental damage. However, the WTO ruling on the beef-hormone case between the EU and the US establishes a definite link between trade and precautionary approach.

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