Keywords: GMOs, private sector, intellectual property rights, small scale farmers, public private partnerships, philanthropy, liability, genetic modification, genetically modified crops, GM crops, developing countries, globalisation, technology, multinational corporations, monopoly products, biosafety regulation, agricultural biotechnology
Introduction: Global actors, markets and rules driving the diffusion of genetically modified (GM) crops in developing countries
The theme of this special issue – genetically modified (GM) crops – goes to the heart of the process of globalisation, technology and development. This introductory essay explains how this new technology is being driven by the actors (multinational corporations), markets (large global markets) and rules (intellectual property) of globalisation. But it is also shaped by the other national and global actors (farmers, research scientists, anti-globalisation and environmental NGOs), markets (national priorities) and rules (national biosafety). The papers in this issue address some policy questions for developing countries: markets that are too small for corporate sector, or to be kept GM free, or dominated by monopoly products; the rules of intellectual property rights and the enforcement of biosafety regulation. Developing countries need to develop policy approaches that are specific to its own unique set of circumstances.