Knowledge for Development

Governing agricultural biotechnology in Africa: building public confidence and capacity for policy-making


Date: 29/10/2014


Norman Clark, John Mugabe, and James Smith provide an analytical context of biotechnology and biosafety in three African countries by reviewing the nature of science policy research, especially as it applies to potential developmental impacts of biotechnology. The book throws new light on biotechnology governance in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda that have been struggling with biotechnology development and related biosafety policy and pays attention to experiences in OECD countries. In addition, the authors pay close attention to the analysis of risk and how it may be managed. They discuss the flawed nature of traditional approaches to biosafety management (treating biosafety risks as reducible to probabilistic values) and argue that these approaches are not only invalid from a purely scientific point of view, but also fail to deal with attitudes of civil society. They think that it is largely for these reasons that the 'precautionary principle' has begun to be taken seriously.   

(Africa Portal, 09/2014)

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