Trait stacking for biotech crops: an essential consideration for agbiotech development projects for building trust
1 Sandra Rotman Centre, University Health Network and University of Toronto, 101 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5G 1L7, Canada
2 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 Dalla Lana School of Public Health Sciences and Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Agriculture & Food Security 2012, 1:5 doi:10.1186/2048-7010-1-5Published: 21 May 2012
The development of agricultural biotechnology humanitarian projects for food security in the last five years has been rapid in developing countries and is expected to rise sharply over the coming years. An extremely critical issue in these projects involves building trust with the community and farmers they aim to serve. For the first time, our social audit engagement with one of these initiatives, the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project, has revealed that a critical but unrecognized component of building trust with farmers involves publicly addressing the concerns surrounding stacked trait crops. As a result, we argue in this article that it is critical to actively anticipate the concerns that could be raised over trait stacking by incorporating them into global access plans of such initiatives early in order to facilitate adoption, provide the best value to the small-scale farmer and gain trust with the community whom these projects aim to serve. This perspective, based on an actual international social audit, should be of value to scientists, funders and partners involved in biotech development initiatives for food security.