Marc Le Menestrel
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Technological Risks: Monsanto and Genetically Modified Organisms (Video, Role Play and Discussion) Monday 27th of May 2013

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by Marc Le Menestrel (29/05/2012)

Summary

Technological innovations – such as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – cannot be understood independently from their business strategic context. Often, risks associated to such technologies are potentially high but not (yet) assessed. While business has little incentive to assess these risks voluntarily, the public is less and less prone to take corporate discourses on absence of risks for granted, and international trade institutions are not adapted to implement the precautionary principle.

Required readings

• Joy, Bill, Why the future doesn’t need us, Wired, 2000.

• Sinaï, Agnès. “New Monsanto and GMO Propaganda : Seeds of irreversible change”, in Le Monde Diplomatique – English language edition (July 2001).

Optional readings

Stirling, A. (2009) From Enlightenment to Enablement: opening up choices for innovation. Augusto López-Claros, ed., in The Innovation for Development Report: 2009-10 Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan pp. 199-210

Pollan, Michael (1998) Playing God in the Garden, The New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998.

European Environment Agency (2002) Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896-2000. Issue Report n° 22.

Questions to prepare: Should companies be free to develop the technologies they want? How should companies organize their decision-processes around this issue?

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