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Environmental Values

The Challenge of Scientific Uncertainty and Disunity in Risk Assessment and Management of GM Crops

Anne Ingeborg Myhr

Environmental Values 19 (2010): 7-31. doi: 10.3197/096327110X485365


The controversy over commercial releases of genetically modified (GM) crops demonstrates that there is a need for new approaches that are more broadly based, transparent and able to acknowledge the uncertainties involved. This article investigates whether new forms of knowledge production as prescribed in the concept of post-normal science can improve risk governance of GM crops. The GM science review carried out in the UK in 2003 serves as a case study and the focus is on how scientific uncertainty and public concern was taken into account. Some recommendations are advanced for assessing scientific uncertainty, for accommodating scientific disputes and for integrating stakeholders' interests and perspectives in relations to GM crops.


GMOs, crops, the precautionary principle, post-normal science, risk management, scientific uncertainty.

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Nature Conservation and the Precautionary Principle. John M. Francis

Integrating Multiple Knowledge Systems into Environmental Decision-making: Two Case Studies of Participatory Biodiversity Initiatives in Canada and their Implications for Conceptions of Education and Public Involvement.Elin Kelsey

Scientists' Perspectives on the Deliberate Release of GM Crops. Valborg Kvakkestad, Frøydis Gillund, Kamilla Anette Kjølberg and Arild Vatn

The Precautionary Principle and the Concept of Precaution. Per Sandin

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Censoring Science in Research Officially. Clive L. Spash

The Controversy over GM Canola in Australia as an Ontological Politics. Rosemary Robins

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