This article focuses on the disjuncture between the regulatory problems generated by the rapid development of, and subsequent trade in crop “genetically modified organisms” (GMOs), and the ability of existing international governance mechanisms to manage the associated human and ecological risks. The article assesses how the globalization of economic activity is reconfiguring patterns of production, investment, regulation and political authority as they relate to the governance of biotechnology.

It is argued that our collective ability to provide social and environmental protection from GMO-related risks must be understood in relation to the global economic processes which create the technology and influence the policy processes set up to manage it. This requires an enhanced understanding of the reciprocal relationships between intra- and inter-firm decision-making and global decision-making.

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