Genetic engineering has enabled significant, accepted innovations in medicine and other fields. In agriculture, however, a global cognitive divide around 'genetically modified organisms' (GMOs) has limited the diffusion and scope of this technology. The framing of agricultural products of recombinant DNA technology as GMOs lacks biological coherence, but has proved to be a powerful frame for opposition. Disaggregating the concept of the 'GMO' is a necessary condition for confronting misconceptions that constrain the use of biotechnology in addressing imperatives of development and escalating challenges from nature, especially in less-industrialized nations.
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I wish to acknowledge collegial advice from J. Thies, M. Zaitlin and E. Earle.
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Herring, R. Opposition to transgenic technologies: ideology, interests and collective action frames. Nat Rev Genet 9, 458–463 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrg2338
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