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Markets in Tradition – Traditional Agricultural Communities in Italy and the Impact of GMOs

Author(s): Johanna Gibson

Journal: SCRIPT-ed
ISSN 1744-2567

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 243;
Date: 2006;
Original page

This paper considers the relationship between traditional agricultural communities, regional development, and the uptake of agricultural biotechnologies, through an examination of Italian traditional agriculture in the context of attempts to introduce genetically modified organisms (GMO) to the agricultural market. Of critical interest to this paper is the cultural and economic significance of Italian traditional agricultural knowledge and national cultural identity with respect to farming practices, organic trade, and resistance to GMOs. This paper considers the interaction in Italy between traditional agriculture and GMOs (particularly in the context of international trade and intellectual property protection), and suggests some political and cultural factors that are perhaps limiting the commercial and agricultural potential of biotechnology in Italy, but at the same time triggering particular consumer preferences, thus facilitating growth in regional and local economies and effective competition in an international market.

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