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Coexistence of plants and coexistence of farmers: is an individual choice possible?

By R. Binimelis

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The introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Europe has been characterized by controversy. In 2002, the European Union introduced the concept of "coexistence" as a compromise solution that, through the establishment of science-based technical measures, should allow the market to operate freely while reducing policy conflicts on GMOs. However, the concept remains highly contested and the technical measures difficult to apply. This paper presents qualitative research on the conceptualization and implementation of the coexistence framework in two regions of Spain (Catalonia and Aragon), where 42% and 55% of maize was GM in 2006, respectively. In this context, the concept of coexistence and its proposed implementation both fail to resolve previous conflicts and actually work to generate new ones through the individualization of choice and impacts. Considerations of the social conditions in which the technology and the management measures are implemented were not taken into account. This resulted in the promotion of biotechnological agriculture over other alternatives.

Date 2008
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 21
Issue 5
Pages 437-457
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1007/s10806-008-9099-4
Language English
Author Address Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Choice
  3. Corn
  4. Decision making
  5. Developed countries
  6. Europe
  7. Field crops
  8. Genetically engineered plants
  9. Genetically modified organisms
  10. Genetically modified plants
  11. Grasses
  12. Maize
  13. Mediterranean region
  14. OECD countries
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. Plants
  17. Policy and Planning
  18. Spain
  19. transgenics
  1. peer-reviewed