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Many parties have an interest in biotechnology and GMOs. These parties all have voices, which is part of the reason discerning the facts is so difficult. Here is a broad categorization of some of the groups involved.
|Consumers and Farmers|
Large agricultural and chemical corporations have divisions relating to biotechnology and genetic engineering. These companies fund the majority of research in GMOs and most are international.
Monsanto is the largest agro-chemical firm and the second largest seed company in the world. It is widely known for being a leader in GMOs.
Government agencies and departments around the world have tried to capture regulation of GMOs, but the technology moves quickly. Some international organizations involved in the debate over regulation include the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
Before a GMO can go to market in the United States it must first get the approval of the Federal Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture (Klee, 2000). The FDA is responsible for the safety of foods produced by plants and for labeling products. The EPA regulates testing on herbicides and plants that contain "pest-resistant" traits.(Biotechnology: Food...,1999)CITE>
ScientistsIn the field of GMOs, scientists have started talking to the public. The research on GMOs is done by scientists at colleges and universities and in large corporations.
Non-government OrganizationsNon-government organizations are the major voice in international debates. They do the research on the issues and supply governments with a link to their constituents. They perform issue awareness and lobby for change. One of the main NGOs in the GMO debate is Greenpeace
Consumers and FarmersConsumers play a large role in GMOs. They eat them and purchase them, therefore they have the economic power to stop their production or ensure their survival. In the United States, most consumers are unaware whether there food contains genetically modified organisms.
Farmers, like the one in the picture loading seed, purchase seed and plant crops in response to consumer demand.
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