First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology (Science & Technology in Society) Paperback – 31 Dec 2004
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"Kloppenburg is trying to put the thorny questions raised in the biotechnology debate into historical perspective." Deborah Fitzgerald, ISIS"
About the Author
Jack Ralph Kloppenburg Jr. is professor of rural sociology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Madison."
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It's difficult to review First the Seed because there is so much information in the book. It is the product of decades of research and passionate personal involvement in the struggles over intellectual property rights and over biotech research. In First the Seed, Kloppenburg offers the history and political economy of plant biotechnology, beginning from North American agriculture's roots in the early 1600s, when settlers began bringing crops to North America. In a nutshell, First the Seed is the story of how capitalists have used science and laws to shape crop breeding and to restrict farmers' rights to re-plant seeds. Kloppenburg writes, "Western science made the seed a catalyst for the transformation of pre-capitalist agrarian social formations and their integration into the web of commodity relations that characterizes the contemporary world economy." But in the book he actually shows that it has been Western business interests, more than Western science, that have used the seed for this end. First the Seed is required reading for all students of Rural Sociology and Agroecology.
I should warn customers that the Kindle edition contains frequent errors that appear to have been created when the book was converted to electronic format. For example, every instance of "tl" appears as a "d" (e.g., constantly became constandy, outlined became oudined). This is very unfortunate. I hope Amazon will come out with a corrected Kindle edition.
Anyone who is studying food production systems must have this book in their library.
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