Resources: Biotech

20 results
Larry Lohmann

15 October 2020

This chapter from the free online peer-reviewed book Bioeconomy and Global Inequalities: Knowledge, Land, Labor, Biomass, Energy, and Politics, available at, argues that any serious study of bioenergy and global inequalities must take account of the oppression inherent in thermodynamic energy itself.

Blockchain Machines, Earth Beings and the Labour of Trust
Larry Lohmann

15 August 2020

The last 10 years have seen unprecedented efforts to automate whole new ranges of human and nonhuman activity: trust, recognition, identification, care, respect, translation and interpretation itself.

Some Stretching Exercises
Larry Lohmann

30 June 2019

This presentation at a recent conference at the University of Jena takes the view that contending with bioenergy development effectively will require social movements to respect – but also to update carefully – Marxian accounts of capital accumulation that tie together the labour theory of value, surplus accumulation, the “contradictory unity” of living and dead labour, mechanization, “vampirism,” class struggle, and the tendency toward falling profit rates.

La ecología de la mecanización de la confianza
Larry Lohmann

20 May 2019

The last decade's developments in computation are major topics of debate among business, policymakers, and social movements alike. Blockchain, Bitcoin, smart contracts, the Internet of Things, machine translation, image recognition, the Earth Bank of Codes, artificial intellligence – all are understood to be not only business opportunities but also political and environmental issues.

Genetic Promises and Speculative Finance
Sarah Sexton

19 October 2011

This book chapter explores some of the parallels, connections and disjunctures between the promised genetic revolution in medicine and health, and the crash of financial capital in 2008, aiming to illuminate several known insights for pursuing public health futures and finances that are often kept in the dark or conveniently forgotten.

From Women's Eggs to Economics for Women
Sarah Sexton

10 September 2005

It is difficult to obtain enough human eggs from women for cloning research. This article explores the problems encountered; whether women should be paid for their eggs; the growing international trade in women's eggs; the concept of informed consent and choice; and the public money pouring into cloning research.

Political Organising Behind TRIPS
Peter Drahos with John Braithwaite

30 September 2004

When TRIPS was signed in 1994, the United States, Europe and Japan dominated the world's software, pharmaceutical, chemical and entertainment industries. The rest of the world had little to gain by agreeing to these terms of trade for intellectual property. They did so because a failure of democratic processes nationally and internationally enabled a small group of men within the United States to capture the US trade-agenda-setting process, to draft intellectual property principles that became the blueprint for TRIPS and to crush resistance through US trade power.

Sarah Sexton

30 July 2002

The great majority of the world's diseases are caused by environmental, not genetic, conditions. A frenzied search for genetic therapies could steal resources from billions in order to serve only a few.

Public Health or Private Wealth?
Sarah Sexton

6 June 2002

Economics and financial gain, rather than improved health, is the underlying rationale for public and private support of human genetic research and technologies.

The Language and Discourse of Human Embryo Cloning
Sarah Sexton

2 December 2001

This analysis of the changing language used in discussions of human embryo cloning was presented at a conference addressing "Techniques of Reproduction: Media, Life, Discourse" at the University of Paderborn, Germany.

International versus National Campaign Issues
Sarah Sexton

26 May 2001

Many of the issues raised by developments in genetic technologies are the same in every country. Is it ethical to experiment on embryos or people who cannot give their consent? Will widespread gene testing of adults lead to discrimination? Does genetic research increase the likelihood of biological weapons being deployed and used? But some issues are not the same because of different cultures, legislation, histories and economies. Genetic developments will play out differently in different countries with consequences for the building of international alliances.

Why did the British Parliament change the law?
Sarah Sexton

10 February 2001

In January 2001, the UK parliament voted to allow research on embryo stem cells. Media reporting suggested this was an easy decision with which the majority of people agreed. Yet other examples suggest unease among the general public and parliamentarians in Britain about several issues involving life and death; sickness and health; and doctors and scientists. In anticipation of such unease and growing public distrust in scientists and government, many discussions and debates about embryo research have been channelled in certain directions so as to ‘engineer consent’ to such research.

The Biological Politics of Genetically Modified Trees
Viola Sampson and Larry Lohmann

30 December 2000

Vast plantations of genetically modified (GM) trees would undoubtedly have significant social and environmental impacts, including displacement of people from their lands, and pollen and gene drift to non-GM trees. GM trees are a technofix for problems created by industrial pulpwood plantations and the worldwide paper, timber and fruit industries. Tackling the challenge posed by GM trees entails alliance building with groups ranging from seed savers to communities battling encroachment of industrial tree farms on their land.

Public discourse in the UK
Sarah Sexton

10 December 2000

When Dolly the cloned sheep was announced in early 1997, the government in the UK stated that cloning techniques must never be applied to humans. Yet in August 2000, it recommended that the law be amended to allow the first stages of embryo cloning and related research to go ahead. This article provides a brief resume of some government, institutional and media responses to human cloning, interspersed with reflections on these trends and omissions.

Power and Decision-Making in the Geneticisation of Health
Sarah Sexton

31 October 1999

Most discussions about human embryo cloning focus on ethics and potential health benefits. In the process, the many social, economic and environmental aspects of health and disease are increasingly hidden, while issues such as how the potential benefits of biotech would be obtained and distributed are sidelined. It has therefore become hard to raise key questions about the increased geneticisation of our lives and societies.

Whose Risks? Whose Gains?
Nicholas Hildyard

2 November 1998

A summary of the ecological risks of genetic engineering in agriculture and suggestions for resisting its introduction.

Genetic Engineering and World Hunger
Sarah Sexton, Nicholas Hildyard and Larry Lohmann

30 October 1998

The biotechnology industry claims that genetic engineering in agriculture is necessary to feed a growing world population. Yet, far from preventing world starvation, genetic engineering threatens to exacerbate the social and ecological causes of hunger by forcing farmers to pay for their right to fertile seeds, threatening crop yields, undermining biodiversity and reducing the access of poorer people to food.

The Corner House

1 June 1998

There are at least 10 good reasons why the widespread adoption of genetic engineering in agriculture will lead to more hungry people, not fewer.

A Briefing on the Proposed EU Directive on the Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions
Alan Simpson, MP, and Nicholas Hildyard and Sarah Sexton

1 September 1997

Living organisms can now be patented as “inventions” if they are the result of genetic engineering techniques or of the transfer of genes between totally unrelated species of plants, animals and micro-organisms. Yet patents can hinder research, legalise biopiracy and restrict both competition and people’s access to health treatment.

The Politics of Gene Research
Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald with Nicholas Hildyard

1 September 1993

Molecular biologists now claim that they can link specific DNA sequences to specific diseases, forms of human behaviour and social conditions -- from diabetes and cystic fibrosis to homosexuality, alcoholism, intelligence and even homelessness. Although based on flawed science, such claims are being used to divert attention from environmental factors in disease and to legitimise new forms of intervention in social life. The myth of the “all powerful gene” threatens to impose a new eugenics -- with “normality” defined by arbitrary models of a standard human.