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Название: Green Gene Technology: Research in an Area of Social Conflict
Авторы: Fiechter A. (ed.), Sautter C. (ed.)
Green gene technology (GGT), understood as a part ofmodern biotechnology, has been on a steady, triumphal progression over the last ten years (ISAAA 2007, see the contribution by Einsele in this issue). This volume, jointly edited by Prof. Fiechter andme, deals with some actual scientiﬁc and socio-economic aspects with regard to genetically modiﬁed plants (GMP). Worldwide more than 100 million hectares of agronomical land are covered by GMP. This includes some prominent industrialised Western countries like the USA and Canada, a series of threshold countries like Argentina, Brazil, India and China, and a number of developing countries. Clearly, some of these countries have to deal with crop plant production and human nutrition in a very pragmatic way since, for example, India has to feed about a 1/5 of the world population on about 3% of the arable land. In contrast, the situation in Europe appears very different. Food supply is more than sufﬁcient and comparably inexpensive. This surplus of food is on one hand convenient, since starvation has been largely unknown in Europe for about 50 years, with only comparatively few exceptions of socially peripheral individuals. On the other hand it makes the population careless about the future food supply. Even beyond mere food
supply, Europe gained its cultural values from its agricultural success over the centuries.Asinglefarmerbecameabletofeedmoreandmorepeoplemaking them free to work outside of agriculture as a craftsman, artist, poet, scientist, engineer,mayor, administrative ofﬁcial, priest, philosopher, or soldier – to give only a few examples. In the public perception this connection between agronomy and cultural welfare is not sufﬁciently appreciated in Europe. Switzerland, geographically in the centre of Europe (although not a member of the political union) has the same cultural tradition, only somewhat shifted towards the more conservative mood common to mountain populations. In summary,
a majority of Europeans, and the Swiss population in particular, are reluctant to new methods in agronomy.