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The GM Debate — Who Decides? An analysis of decision-making about genetically modified crops in developing countries

This report analyses key issues surrounding decision-making on GM crops in developing countries. The document was written by Ehsan Masood and others as part of Panos’ Communicating Research through the Media Programme, Relay.

 

Using case studies from Brazil, India, Kenya, Thailand and Zambia, the report explores how policies and regulations are developed, and who is involved in decision-making processes around GM technology. The authors look at the role played by scientists, international bodies, industry and farmers’ groups and the degree of public participation in decision-making, noting that scientific expertise is most influential throughout the process.

 

The document also examines the degree to which the media succeeds in performing its key role as facilitator of informed debate. In presenting evidence from their survey of media coverage of GM issues in the countries studied, the authors find a general lack of analytical reporting, with many journalists simply relaying government announcements. Farmers’ viewpoints are generally under represented.

 

This useful and informative report provides real-world examples of decision-making processes on GM in a variety of developing countries. It will be valuable to anyone interested in such processes or in how well the media supports them.

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