Levidow, Les; Carr, Susan; von Schomburg, Rene and Wield, David
European Biotechnology Regulation: Framing the Risk Assessment of a Herbicide-Tolerant Crop.
Science, Technology and Human Values, 22(4),
As products of the "new biotechnology," genetically modified organisms have provoked a wide-ranging risk debate on potential harm, especially from herbicide-tolerant crops. In response to this legitimacy problem, the European Community adopted precautionary legislation, which left open the definition of environmental harm. When the U.K. proposed Europe-wide market approval of a herbicide-tolerant oilseed rape (canola), the proposal encountered dissent from some countries and environmentalisi groups. Further debate on normative judgments became necessary to implement the precaution- ary legislation. In dispute were several regulatory boundaries-of administrative re- sponsibility, causality, acceptability, and evidence. The boundary disputes expressed divergent framings of biotechnological risk, each with its implicit model of the socionatu- ral order In this way, the disputes can illuminate the sorts of risk framings that have already become embedded and standardized in other regulatory sectors.
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