domingo, noviembre 02, 2014

Genetic fallout in bio-cultural landscapes

Genetic fallout in bio-cultural landscapes: Molecular imperialism and the cultural politics of (not) seeing transgenes in Mexico

  1. Christophe Bonneuil
    1. Centre Alexandre Koyré (CNRS-EHESS-MNHN), Paris, France
  2. Jean Foyer
    1. Institut des Sciences de la Communications CNRS/Université Paris-Sorbonne/UPMC, Paris, France
  3. Brian Wynne
    1. Centre for the Study of Environmental Change, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  1. Christophe Bonneuil, Centre Alexandre Koyré (CNRS-EHESS-MNHN), 27, rue Damesme, Paris 75013, France. Email:


This article explores the trajectory of the global controversy over the introgression (or not) of transgenes from genetically modified maize into Mexican indigenous maize landraces. While a plurality of knowledge-making processes were deployed to render transgenes visible or invisible, we analyze how a particular in vitro based DNA-centered knowledge came to marginalize other forms of knowledge, thus obscuring other bio-cultural dimensions key to the understanding of gene flow and maize diversity. We show that dominant molecular norms of proof and standards of detection, which co-developed with the world of industrial monocropping and gene patenting, discarded and externalized non-compliant actors (i.e. complex maize genomes, human dimensions of gene flow). Operating in the name of high science, they hence obscured the complex biological and cultural processes that maintain crop diversity and enacted a cultural–political domination over the world of Mexican landraces and indigenous communities.

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