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The Controversy over GM Canola in Australia as an Ontological Politics

Rosemary Robins

Environmental Values 21 (2012): 185-208. doi: 10.3197/096327112X13303670567332

ABSTRACT

In this paper I examine the controversy over genetically modified canola (GM canola) in Australia as an ontological politics, drawing on recent work in Science and Technology Studies that extends actor-network theory and its commitment to the contingency of reality. I examine three different and overlapping performances of GM canola: as an agronomic object, a risk object and a market object. I focus on how each performance effects similarities and differences between GM and conventional canola that are productive of ontological distinctions that make GM canola controversial. I argue this analysis offers useful insights that are not revealed by more traditional explanations of controversy.


KEYWORDS

Gene Technology in Australia, genetically modified canola (GM canola), multiplicity, controversy, ontological politics, actor-network theory

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Ontological Politics: Mapping a Complex Environmental Problem.Michael S. Carolan

The Challenge of Scientific Uncertainty and Disunity in Risk Assessment and Management of GM Crops. Anne Ingeborg Myhr

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Green Economy, Red Herring. Clive L. Spash


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