Innogen  ·  Publications  ·  Working papers
Beyond Safety Regulation: Implications for putting biotechnology into use in a developing country context

Kingiri, A

September 2011

The objective of biosafety regulation is to enhance safe and responsible use of new biotechnologies, thus optimise benefits and reduce risks. This seemingly narrow focus of regulation for development is challenged by the need to look at factors that drive innovation in totality. To this end, all aspects of biosafety regulation implementation that could hamper the process of putting biotechnology research into use need to be given critical thought. Using Bt Cotton as illustration, this paper explores the dynamics involved in the implementation of regulations associated with biotechnology in a developing country context towards putting research into use. It seeks to bring to the limelight the underlying issues that complicate the process of identifying and building pathways to sustainability in complex, dynamic, social-ecological-technological systems. It finds that addressing the regulatory issues is a prerequisite to biotechnology development but does not guarantee uptake of products for development. The paper concludes by suggesting an integrated approach to deal with the multiple challenges that have delayed the translation of biotechnology research products into use in Africa.