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A trial lecture: Valborg Kvakkestad - Comparing economic approaches in GMO assessment, and their policy implications

Helga Sigurdardottir

Valborg Kvakkestad will give a trial lecture on the theme Comparing economic approaches in GMO assessment, and their policy implications on Friday December 17th, at 09.00 a.m. at the auditorium, T401 in the Tower building.

The title of the dissertation is Institutions and GMOs: The Formations of Perspectives and Organisms.


Valborg Kvakkestad 2010
Valborg Kvakkestad 2010 Photo: Kvakkestad
Genetically modified organisms are plants, animals or bacteria whose genetic material has been altered by the use of genetic engineering techniques. The dissertation examines how different background and framework conditions influence researchers’ perspectives on GMOs, which GMOs is developed and which official decisions are made regarding the use of GMOs. The dissertation shows that ecologists and researchers who are publicly funded are significantly  more concerned about lack of knowledge regarding the environmental influence of GMOs than biotechnologists and researchers who are funded by or work in the biotechnology industry.

Mat og Helse
Mat og Helse Photo: Trygve Berg
The dissertation also examines how the type of regulation for marketing of GMOs influences which GMOs that are commercialised. The European Union (EU) and Norway have partly different law in this aspect.  The dissertation shows that Norway and the EU have handled identical applications for use of GMOs very differently. Where Norway has emphasised no real benefit to society, lack of scientific knowledge, and involved risks the EU has concluded that they see no reason to believe that there will be any adverse effects on health and the environment. The study also shows that there are strong arguments for changing current practise where those that apply for marketing approval of GMOs also produce the risk assessment prior to marketing and the post marketing monitoring. It is furthermore important that the authorities consult with representatives from the public and not only scientific experts when making decisions about the use of GMOs.  

Updated: 10.12.10
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