Social and Economic Impacts of Biotechnology - AAEC | Virginia Tech

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Dec 6, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

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Social and Economic
Impacts of
Biotechnology

George Norton

Virginia Tech

Participatory Assessment of
Social and Economic Impacts of
Biotechnology


Virginia Tech, IRRI, N.C. State, Tennessee,
Virginia State U.


Goal


To provide policy makers and the general
public with information on social and
economic benefits, costs, risks, and tradeoffs
associated with biotechnology research on
rice (in Asia and U.S.) and on
pharmaceutical products from tobacco.



Objectives

1.
Identify expectations
and concerns with
rice and tobacco
biotech

2.
Assess economic
and social impacts of
rice and tobacco
biotech, including
their distribution

3.
Develop and test
educational materials
on biotech benefits,
costs, and concerns


Approach


Gather information through
participatory appraisals, focus
groups, and surveys


Economic and social impact analysis
through modeling


Spread information through K
-
12
curricula, field schools, Extension,
website and web
-
based mini course,
college classrooms

Nature of the Biotech
Research


Tobacco


Pharmaceutical
products


Rice


Insect and disease
resistance


Herbicide resistance


Nutritional
enhancement


Abiotic stresses



Therapeutic Proteins from
Tobacco


Glucocerebrosidase (enzyme for
treating Gaucher Disease)


Human Serum Albumin (substitute for
blood plasma)


Secretory IgA Antibody (important in
preventing dental cavities)

Rice GMOs


Bt

rice to reduce stemborer


BB (Xa21) rice to reduce bacterial
blight


Golden Rice to enhance Vitamin A


Liberty Link rice to provide herbicide
resistance (to control red rice)

Expected outcomes


Estimates of perceived and likely
benefits and risks associated with
biotechnology on tobacco and rice in
the U.S. and major countries in Asia.


Greater clarity on appropriate roles
of public versus private sector in rice
and tobacco biotech R&D,


Increased public understanding of ag
biotech risks and benefits


Progress and Results:
Tobacco


Participatory Appraisals and
focus groups


U.S. Survey


Modeling


Budgets and
economic surplus


Information dissemination

Selected Tobacco

Results


Growers willing to participate; most
realize it will not benefit them much


Will involve small acreage and
number of growers if and until HSA
can be cost
-
effectively purified


Greater consumer support for plant
-
based pharmaceuticals than for GMO
food products but still bimodal views

Tobacco results


(continued)


Market power allows firms to contract
with growers and extract most profits


Processing (especially purification) is
costly and affecting product release


Potential competition with corn
-
based
pharmaceuticals, which have a
storage advantage before processing


Progress and Results: Rice


Participatory appraisals
and focus groups


Surveys


U.S.,
Bangladesh


Modeling


Assess regional
distribution of benefits;
farm
-
household benefits


Information dissemination

Selected Rice

Results


Weed control is major technology desired
by U.S. growers but adoption affected by
market concerns


Stemborer is major problem in Asia but
Xa21 (for BB) and Golden Rice will be
released first in Asia to pave the way


U.S. public very bimodal on concerns over
GMO rice and views are little affected by
lives saved in Asia


Rice results (continued)


40% of U.S. consumers would purchase
GMO rice without a price discount


Public sector dominant in developing
GMO rice and hence benefits more
likely to reach the poor than for many
other crops


Asian public, except for educated elite,
are little aware of GMO products

Theses in Progress


Welfare impacts of genetically
modified rice


Uses GTAP (Multi
-
country general equilibrium trade
model)


Nutritional effects of genetically
modified rice in Bangladesh


Potential benefits from pharmaceutical
use of tobacco.

Dissemination Plans


Website:
http://www.agecon.vt.edu/biotechimpact


Book


On
-
campus seminar course


Distance learning course


K
-
12 materials