Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development
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Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.
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Chapter 35: Biotechnology communications, mythmaking and the media

Camille D. Ryan


The art and science of communication involves a 'source' (for example, a company or organization) that is trying to reach a 'receiver' (customer or stakeholder). The goal of communication - from a marketing or public relations perspective - is to be 'understood'; to establish a common frame of reference in order to build value. This involves choosing the right message and appreciating that that message may be interpreted by receivers in any one of a number of ways. Thus, understanding the market and your customers and stakeholders is key in developing and executing a successful marketing and communications plan. In the context of food and agriculture, traditional business approaches to communication and associated strategies have not always worked within the confines of such a simple formula, particularly in the past two decades in the case of 'big agriculture' and the area of biotechnology. Science has fundamentally changed how farming is done and has significantly increased productivity levels worldwide. Biotechnology, which developed into a bit of a buzzword over 30 years ago with substantive investments in start-up companies (McHughen, 2000), offers up a set of tools to modify organisms for a particular purpose. In the context of agricultural biotechnology, that purpose can include anything from generating higher yields in crops to genetically conferring resistance to certain diseases in plant varieties.

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