The Genome Canada Policy Brief ‘Can Genetically Modified Crops Help the Poor? Options for Canada’s Foreign Policy’ by Dr. Matthew Schnurr and Dr. Stuart Smyth is now available on the Genome Canada’s website.
The policy brief builds on conversations held at the Genome, Public Policy, and Society (GPS) session hosted by the GMOs and Poverty Conference at Dalhousie University in September 2015. The event brought together an interdisciplinary team of academics and policy makers for an open discussion on a wide range of regulatory issues and challenges facing Canadian policy-makers surrounding GM technology. The brief surveys the implications of this emerging debate for Canadian policy-makers in order to help the Canadian government to consider whether to support the adoption of GMOs as part of their agricultural development strategies. The insights gleaned during the GPS session informed the five policy options presented for consideration: an ‘all in’ approach robustly supporting GM crops; a partnership approach focusing on the needs of smallholder farmers; a ‘precaution through experience’ approach emphasizing context-specific systems, community engagement and risk management; a participatory farmer-led approach based on a demand-driven model of experimentation; and a holistic approach focusing on underlying causes of food insecurity rather than technological solutions.