By late in the twentieth century, scientists had succeeded in manipulating organisms at the genetic level, mainly by gene transfer. The major impact of this technology has been seen in the spread of genetically modified (GM) crops, which has occurred with little controversy in some areas and with fierce controversy elsewhere. GM crops raise a very wide range of questions, and I address three areas of particular interest for anthropology and its allied fields. First are the political-economic aspects of GM, which include patenting of life forms and new relationships among agriculture, industry, and the academy. Second is the wide diversity in response and resistance to the technology. Third is the much-debated question of GM crops for the developing world. This analysis is approached first by determining what controls research agendas and then by evaluating actual impacts of crops to date.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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