Faculty Advisor

Gardner, Andrew

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2013


This research investigates a country that has recently committed itself to replacing all genetically modified crops with non-altered crops. Limitations and benefits associated with allowing or banning transgenic technology are examined through interviews with farmers, agricultural researchers, agronomists, biologists and environmental advocates in three diverse communities in Bolivia. This research explores how these stakeholders experience and understand the recent national rejection of this agricultural technology. Controversy surrounding development and use of transgenic technology illustrates moral, political, social and economic conflicts, presents risks and creates complex societal decisions with the potential to impact ecological systems, diversity of life, health (both natural and human), poverty and wealth, global food security, economic gains, and the preservation of culture. The ways in which Bolivians understand and frame the ban on transgenic technology are complex, situational, and dependent on a variety of factors. Outlooks on the importance of economic development, social and spiritual development, efficiency of agricultural practices, protection of biodiversity, seed varieties and the environment, and perceived societal risks informed the positions of Bolivian stakeholders.


University of Puget Sound