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Engineering Trouble

Biotechnology and Its Discontents

Rachel A. Schurman (Editor), Dennis Takahashi Kelso (Editor)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 325 pages
ISBN: 9780520240070
October 2003
$34.95, £27.00
Talk of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) has moved from the hushed corridors of life science corporations to the front pages of the world’s major newspapers. As Europeans began rejecting genetically engineered foods in the marketplace, the StarLink corn incident exploded in the United States and farmers set fire to genetically modified crops in India. Citizens and consumers have become increasingly aware of and troubled by the issues surrounding these new technologies. Considering cases from agriculture, food, forestry, and pharmaceuticals, this book examines some of the most pressing questions raised by genetic engineering. What determines whether GEOs enter the food supply, and how are such decisions being made? How is the biotechnology industry using its power to reshape food, fiber, and pharmaceutical production, and how are citizen-activists challenging these initiatives? And what are the social and political consequences of global differences over GEOs?
List of Illustrations

Introduction. Biotechnology in the New Millennium: Technological Change, Institutional Change, and Political Struggle
Rachel A. Schurman

1. Wonderful Potencies? Deep Structure and the Problem of Monopoly in Agricultural Biotechnology
William Boyd

2. Building a Better Tree: Genetic Engineering and Fiber Farming in Oregon and Washington
W. Scott Prudham

3. The Migration of Salmon from Nature to Biotechnology
Dennis Doyle Takahashi Kelso

4. Making Biotech History: Social Resistance to Agricultural Biotechnology and the Future of the Biotechnology Industry
Rachel A. Schurman and William A. Munro

5. Eating Risk: The Politics of Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods
Julie Guthman

6. The Global Politics of GEOs: The Achilles’ Heel of the Globalization Regime?
Frederick H. Buttel

7. Biotech Battles: Plants, Power, and Intellectual Property in the New Global Governance Regimes
Kathleen McAfee

8. From Molecules to Medicines: The Use of Genetic Resources in Pharmaceutical Research
Astrid J. Scholz

9. The Brave New Worlds of Agricultural Technoscience: Changing Perspectives, Recurrent Themes, and New Research Directions in Agro-Food Studies
David Goodman

Conclusion. Recreating Democracy
Dennis Doyle Takahashi Kelso

Rachel A. Schurman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She is the coauthor of Taking Population Seriously (1988) and Betraying the National Interest (1987). Dennis Doyle Takahashi Kelso is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
"This collection is a comprehensive approach in two senses: in capturing the institutional, social, and cultural dimensions of biotechnology, and in emphasizing the contingencies of biotechnology stemming from power relations within the industry and within society at large."—Philip McMichael, author of Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective

"Engineering Trouble addresses an important and timely issue of significant interest to social scientists and policy makers. The authors cover the range of political, economic, social, and moral forces which are both shaping and being shaped by this new technology."—William Lacy, coauthor of Plants, Power, and Profit: Social, Economic, and Ethical Consequences of the New Biotechnologies

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