GMO doublespeak: An analysis of power and discourse in Canadian debates over agricultural biotechnology
It has been 20 years since Canada’s first commercially grown genetically modified (GM) crops were approved and debates over these contentious products continue to gain momentum. Literature exploring Canada’s GMO debates has yet to focus specifically on the discourse of pro-biotech public relations campaigns and anti-biotech movements. This paper helps fill this gap with an analysis of power relations regarding efforts to inform public opinion on the topic of agricultural biotechnology. This paper explores these power relations in two arguments. First, I argue that the Canadian state’s overall positive position toward agricultural biotechnology provides leverage to pro-biotech public relations, while delimiting the direction of anti-biotech campaigns. Second, I argue that the potency of pro-biotech frames are constituted and sustained by historically and culturally embedded norms and values, which adds additional challenges for anti-biotech campaigns. These findings uncover a clearer picture of the complexity of power relations within agri-biotech discourse, and the extent to which anti-biotech groups are disadvantaged in these debates.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms: Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Work published in CFS/RCÉA prior to and including Vol. 8, No. 3 (2021) is licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY license. Work published in Vol. 8, No. 4 (2021) and after is licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA license. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. (See more on Open Access.)