Anti-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Movement in Russia: Identification of Actors and Their Connection with Grassroots

Theoretical framework of research: concept of GMO, environmental NGOs. General information about genetically modified organisms (GMO). The concept of social movements. Environmental NGOs. Grassroots organizations. World situation around GMO in the world.

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Master Thesis

Anti-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Movement in Russia: Identification of Actors and Their Connection with Grassroots"


Evelina Chebanova

Moscow, 2016



Chapter 1. Theoretical framework of research: concept of GMO, environmental NGOs and network analysis

1. General information about genetically modified organisms (GMO)

2. The concept of social movements. Environmental NGOs. Grassroots organizations

3. Social network analysis

Chapter 2. World situation around GMO in the world

1. The GM food vision in the USA

2. European vision

3. Legislative aspect of GMO issue within Russia

Chapter 3. Russian case. Anti-GMO movement and its network analysis

1. General picture: proponents, opponents and their arguments

2. Anti-GMO movements: actors, determination of leading organization

3. NAGS's ties with external actors


List of literature


Currently the topic of genetically modified organisms (GMO) is very popular and widespread. There are many causes for the great interest in this theme, and there are several approaches and points of view toward GMO such as neutral one, those, who against the use of GMO and proponents of this idea. A whole, any organism that was changed by using genetic engineering techniques, we can call genetically modified one. Chemists, biologists, political scientists and public figures are involved in discourse concerning GMO around the world, and the Russian scientists are not an exception.

Despite the fact that GMO appeared not yesterday, this issue in Russia became acute relatively recently. Only from the beginning of the new millennium the concern toward GMO emerged in our country as well.

There are proponents and opponents of GMO in Russia. Among the supporters of GMO' use we can mark such persons like Asya Kazantseva, Alexander Panchin, Gennady Onishchenko. But among opponents we can find more actors (Green Peace of Russia, Green century, CIS Alliance For biosafety, National Association of Genetic Safety, Factor GMO and etc.). For us it is interesting to research anti-GMO movement. It does not mean that pro-GMO actors will not be considered in our research work, but the focus will be done namely on anti-GMO actors, because it is more large and strong movement in our country and, possibly, has external supporters (it should be proved or rejected in the outcome).

The importance of this research is connected with undefined attitude to the usage of GMO in our ordinary life (foodstuffs, agricultural issues and etc.). Until now there is no unified point of view toward GMO, and this is used by many concerned parties: some spread opinion about harm from GMO, another one - about necessity of use of this technology and its dissemination in the third world countries.

The literature review of relevant sources gives us a comprehension that the topic of anti-GMO movement in Russia was not explored though somehow. The same situation is in the study of pro-GMO movement. Probably, the situation is such because of the novelty of the very GMO issue: the discourse around this issue began to form recently. Respectively NGOs (pro- or anti-GMO organizations) started to be involved in GMO issue also not so long ago, and the scientific works about any GMO movements do not exist. At the same time, the notion of GMO is familiar to everybody, but it does not mean that everyone understand what is GMO in terms of technology and making process.

Scientists from the Scientific Research Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Science conducted many experiments (for instance, on rats) to access biological and medical safety of genetically modified organisms. Of course, after the experiments scientists wrote an article. All released works stated that investigated type of GM product is safe and can be used in nutrition. Among these articles we can mention Effect of genetically modified plants on the development of rat progeny written by Tyshko, Zhminchenko, Pashorina, Tuteyan and others (Tyshko et al., 2011), Safety assessment of genetically modified organisms of plant origin in the Russian Federation written by Tyshko, Aksyuk, Tutelyan (Tyshko et al., 2007), Medical and biological safety assessment of genetically modified soybean event MON 89788 - by Tutelyan, Gapparov, Avreneva and others (Tutelyan et al., 2010). These articles are very important, because the data from these studies served for Rospotrebnadzor as a justification for the issuance of permits for the use of those or other types of GMO in Russia. Also proponents of GMOs refer to these works, claiming that they are fully confirmed the safety of GMO. The majority of articles were issued in the official journal of Scientific Research Institute of Nutrition which is called Nutritional issues.

As we will try to connect GMO issue with agricultural policy in Russia we should explore the Food Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation (Food Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation, 2010). This Doctrine was signed by the President Medvedev on January 30, 2010 and contains the main ideas of Russia's agricultural production and policy goals. The necessity in guarantee the food security is underlined in the document several times.

In theoretical part of master thesis we have examined many monographies and approaches a whole. For instance, the research of two authors - Martin Kilduff (University College London, UK) and Wenpin Tsai (Pennsylvania State University, USA) which is called Social Networks and Organizations (Kilduff, Tsai, 2003). Their book was extremely useful in our research, because this research contains major concepts in the field of social networks and organizations. The main utility of Kilduff and Tsai research work is that they explore a big number of theoretical directions and the debates around the issue. And what is equally important is that the information has not just narrative character, but also critical assessment.

One more research of Mario Diani (ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and McAdam Doug (Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology) Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action allows us to understand illustrate how networks affect individual contributions to collective action (both in non-democratic and democratic organizations) and how concepts of network is able to improve our grasp of the relationship between movements and elites (Diani, McAdam, 2003)

Ideas from Donatella Della Porta' (professor of sociology directing the Centre on Social Movement Studies at the European University Institute) and Mario Diani' legendary research Social movements. Introduction has also contributed to the theoretical part of master thesis (Della Porta, Diani, 2006). This comprehensive research helps us to understand the origins of today collective social actions. The book gives explanation for such notions like social movements, social structure, collective actions and many others. The second edition of this book was also devoted to questions like what is an identity and what role does an identity play in collective actions. As the second edition was complemented, it has included new topics like public policies and governance, individual motivations, new media, and etc.

The monography of Joan Huber (currently Professor Emeritus) Macro-micro linkages in sociology explores the connection between micro and macro level analysis in social research (Huber, 1991). The author undertakes an attempt to link two levels together. This approach is studied in the relation of different social institutions like family, work, education.

Another research Collective Identity and Expressive Forms authored by David Snow (University of California, Irvine) gave a birth to the definition of collective identity, and also touched the concepts of identity politics, identity projects, contested identities and etc. (Snow, 2001).

Not only solid research, but also scientific articles were also useful for theoretical understanding of social network analysis. We can distinguish the article of Ronald Burt Structural Holes and Good Ideas that was published in the American Journal of Sociology (Burt, 2004), the article of Brian Uzzi in the American Sociological Review The sources and consequences of embeddedness for the economic performance of organizations: The network effect (Uzzi, 1996), the old research of Alba Taking stock of network analysis: A decade's results published in the Research in the Sociology of Organizations in 1982 (Alba, 1982) and many others.

To understand the notion of GMO and to search the appropriate definitions, we applied to the data from the websites of World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Both the Russian news agencies' websites such as Vedomosti, Pronedra, Russian Gazeta,, and etc. to restore the outline of events connected with lawmaking activity regarding GMO in Russia and to make a list of laws and draft of laws where the topic of GMO figures, and foreign newspapers' websites like The New York Times, Los Angeles Times were used.

The research problem of master thesis: the necessity in study the anti-GMO movement in Russia as filling the gaps in this topic.

The research question: is the Russian anti-GMO movement grassroots one or it was formed under the influence of external request?

To answer the research question of master thesis we should formulate the next several research tasks:

1. To follow the development path of the USA and Europe with its GMO issue.

2. To consider the Russian legislative base of the Russian Federation concerning the use and GMO.

3. To identify the actors (organizations, personalities, etc.) that constitute the core of anti-GMO movement in Russia.

4. To distinguish actors (pro-GMO and neutral one) existing in Russian field of GMO discourse and their arguments.

5. To find links between the core organization of anti-GMO movement in Russia and its external supporters, such a way to answer on research question.

During research process we will use several research methods, firstly, method of participant observation which permits to get objective picture of work of one of the main actors in Russian anti-GMO movement (it will be done during the internship in the National Association for Genetic Safety); it also allows to get acquainted closely with the staff of organization and to reveal their values and true views. Also participant observation is good in terms of getting insider information which is not available in open access (like data about sponsors of organization, sources of financing (internal or external?), and etc.).

Methods of content analysis will be useful under studying different documents like Cartagena protocol on biosafety to the convention on biological diversity and Food Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation. Of course, case study method will be used, because we will explore namely anti-GMO movement in Russia.

A whole, this research work will be the first attempt of analysis of anti-GMO movement in Russia and its actors.

Chapter 1. Theoretical framework of research: concept of GMO, environmental NGOs and network analysis

1. General information about genetically modified organisms (GMO)

In the hierarchy of human needs the food requirement is one of the primary needs for people. Without food any population cannot live for a long time, except for small number of people who learned dispense with food finding alternative sources of supply in the form of solar energy, etc. During the survey conducted in the U.S. in 2014, it was found that American citizens spend approximately 3.66 years on eating (30 Surprising Facts, 2015). According to another data, this figure is even more than 3, 66 (Reiter, 2015). It means that all issues connected with the food supply are very important for people, and despite the different problems and difficulties like high inflation, economic crisis, unemployment and other serious causes a man cannot refuse from nutrition as it is the basis of existence. Because it is necessary for human organisms, nutritive industry has a long history, and today it reaches its full flowering.

The population growth affects world's food supply and creates the lack of food around the world. Of course, the most acute situations are in Africa and Asia, where the majority of world population live. Researchers proved that by 2050 the demand for food will be twice what it was in 2005 (Tilman, 2011). In such conditions researches try to develop already known biotechnologies to mitigate a hungry and possible future food disaster.

Biotechnology is a broad term that applies to the use of living organisms and covers techniques that range from simple to sophisticated. Food biotechnology is connected with general food science aimed at improvement of food production to feed everyone. Genetic engineering refers to the one of technologies used today for this purpose.

A whole, methods of biotechnology were introduced in agriculture and food production in the beginning of 1990th to create new tools for improvement of productivity. So called genetic modification (genetic engineering) proposes new properties which are not naturally present in the organism. It was achieved by the direct manipulation of an organism's genome. And now it is time to introduce the notion of genetically modified organisms which is one of the key concepts of our research.

Let us start from the definition of GMO given by the World Health Organization:

Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism (Food, Genetically modified, n.d.).

According to the definition of the European legislation (which is more specific in comparison to the previous one), genetically modified organisms are organisms in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination (Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, 2001).

There are several types of manipulation with organisms:

deleting, moving, multiplying of genes;

gene editing;

genes' transferring from related/unrelated organisms

combination of pieces of different genes or creation new ones

All these actions are aimed at improvement of properties of product, so genes incorporated into new organism makes it more useful. The paradox is that together with the increasing the number of hungry people, on another side of the world people become richer, consequently, they buy more meat, but producing meat requires huge quantities of crops such as corn and soy for animal feed (Feeding the World Without GMOs, 2015).

There are three main categories of biotechnology enhanced crops:

Enhanced input features. For instance, herbicide tolerance, virus protection, insect protection, and tolerance to drought;

Value-added output traits. For example, corn with higher amounts of lysine, vegetable oils with increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Crops that produce pharmaceuticals or improve the processing of bio-based fuels (Background on Food Biotechnology, n.d.).

Currently crops are mostly those with enhanced input features in production.

The U.S. was the first state within which genetically engineered products were approved in 1999 by the Food and Drug Administration for human consumption. In the opinion of officials, the bioengineered form of the enzyme rennin used in dairy industry for production of cottage cheese is presented no safety hazard for consumers. At the same time, some officials and experts in biotechnology said that despite the approval of this production genetically modified products remain sensitive issue and demand more detailed investigation further (FDA Approves 1st Genetically Engineered Product for Food, 1991).

Today genetic engineering production gains popularity around the world. Yet in 2005 about 210 million acres of biotech crops were planted extensively in Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the U.S., Canada, and Australia. These countries planted about 95 percent of all biotech crops (FDA Approves 1st Genetically Engineered Product for Food, 1990). This technique brought benefits to farmers, so they accepted it. Besides such solid developed in agricultural sphere countries like Brazil, Canada, countries like Columbia, China, India, Philippines, South Africa and few other were also attracted by economic benefits of the new technology and planted 13.2 million acres. Small farms of Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and several other European countries had joined to this mainstream in 2005 and planted small number of biotech crops on the square of 350, 000 acres (FDA Approves 1st Genetically Engineered Product for Food, 1990).

2. The concept of social movements. Environmental NGOs. Grassroots movement

As we are interested in the study of the anti-GMO movement in Russia, in first turn we should understand what does the concept of social movement mean, and then we will look at the concept of NGO, particularly, environmental NGO, (since GMO issue belongs to environmental problems).

A whole, the concept of social movements is very broad, and we are interested in environmental movements in Russia, or to be more precisely, organizations and individuals who are actively operating in this area. Our goal is to research anti-GMO movement in Russia. Now we got into acquainted with the notion of GMO, but without understanding what are the social movements and namely environmental movement (component of which anti-GMO movement is) we will not be able to move to the practical part of research.

What is the social movement? There is no one definition of social movements. Each definition depends on the initial views of the researcher, studied time period, objective historical conditions like political and economic situation and etc. Of course, in an ideal all these factors should not influence on research, but in fact it is practically impossible. As there is really enormous number of social movements' definition, it is not necessary to mention all of them. Such a way we will give a few of definitions that include the most features of social movement.

Let us start from the definition given by Mario Diani. In his opinion, social movements consist of groups and organizations, with various levels of formalization, linked in patterns of interaction which run from the fairly centralized to the totally decentralized, from the cooperative to the explicitly hostileSocial movements are in other words, complex and highly heterogeneous network structures (Diani M., McAdam D., 2003).

Christopher Ansell specializing in public health and environmental policy gives a bit another definition with otherwise emphasis. Social movements can be regarded either as an expression of community embeddedness, strongly rooted in specific territorial spaces and the associated systems of relationships, or as attempts to build broader networks, based on the identification with a specific cause, which cut across local community loyalties and relations (Diani M., McAdam D., 2003).

In simple words, social movement process is a combination of organizations and individuals connected by common goal that defines their strategies of collective action, their initiatives and contributions toward this common goal; simultaneously, all actors of social movement keep independence and autonomy under negotiations between themselves (Donatella Della Porta, 2006).

There are a range of theories explaining the emergence of social movements beginning with Marxist theory and ending with theories of space and place.

The Marxist theory states that social movements emerged in industrial, developed economies from the marginalized workers, class consciousness and proletariat who deserved to change the state order. Another theory of collective behavior notes that social movements appeared as spontaneous mass actions that lead to the change of all the established order, norms and way of life like it was in the Europe in time of the fascism' flourishing (Social Movements: Evolution, Definitions, Debates and Resources, n.d.).

Theory of identity in social movements is very popular; especially it was widespread in the Europe of 1960th. Identity is able to generate new discourses, new cultures and norms, create new forms of social interactions. Polletta and Jasper defined identity as an individual's cognitive, moral and emotional connection with a broader community, category, practice, or institution (Polletta F., Jasper J., 2001). Snow proposed a little bit another approach to the identity. It is more frequently understood as something generated and created between individuals (Snow, 2001). And the theory of space and place underlines the importance and relevance of geographic location of social movements as it influences on many crucial components of movement's activity and connected with it points like economy, political fight and etc. (Snow, 2001).

Today the concept of non-governmental organizations is very well developed, because the very NGOs have long become the active members of political process both on the international and national level. NGOs are component of almost any social movement. In the broadest sense, non-governmental organizations mean non-commercial organizations independent from the government or a business. Their distinctive feature is that they orients on promoting interests of vulnerable groups and on sustainable development.

Margaret Karns specializing in foreign policy and international organizations gives such definition to NGO: it is a voluntary group of individuals or organizations, usually not affiliated with any government, which is formed to provide services or to advocate a public policy (Karns, n.d.).

The Concept of NGOs is closely connected with the notion of civil society, because their degree of development, their number, conditions within which NGOs are operating in a country is an index of the maturity of civil society. It also should be said that existence of NGOs in different states are dramatically varied. The more democratically developed state, the better conditions NGOs have. For instance, Russian NGOs have a big number of problems starting from the difficulties during the registration process and ending with absence of the offices and poor technical equipment. The most serious one was the Russian foreign agent law endangering the existence of many large and significant Russian NGOs because of the foreign funding (Barry, 2012). This law was criticized both in Russia and outside as a violation of human rights.

Environmental issues led to the emergence of environmental NGOs in the second part of 20th century. An environmental NGO is a non-profit organization that deals with issues of the environment, including conservation, global warming, the depletion of natural resources. Such NGOs focus on a wide range of issues and use different means to achieve the goals (Environmental NGOs, n.d.).

Environmental NGOs can work closely with the government, participate in working groups devoted to the particular issues. Experts of these NGOs conduct research; staff of environmental NGOs organizes campaigns on raise of public awareness, lobby state institutions.

In the Russian Federation the oldest environmental organization was the Russian Environmental Protection Organization founded yet in the USSR. In 1960th, students and scientists of universities were formed the Nature Protection Teams. Their activity was aimed at struggling with fishing, hunting, and etc. In the Soviet time the participants of this organization interacted with the State through protest letters and collection of signatures. Today such practice is alive, but more spread tactics are listed above.

Currently there are many environmental NGOs in Russia, they continue to propose different initiatives in the field of ecological management, including issue of nutrition security. As it was discussed before, nutritional need is one of the basic one and access to the health food is primary human right. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Four dimensions of food security are distinguished by FAO: food availability, food access, utilization, stability (Policy Brief. Food Security, 2006).

In this term GMOs are considered by many scholars as a key tool in helping to address the challenge of feeding a growing and more prosperous population, and improving the global standard of living today and for future generations (Zilberman, 2014).

At the same time, large-scale NGOs like Greenpeace, Friends of Earth, and many others do not support the usage of GMO in our daily life, especially, in nutrition. They refer to the investigations, which were revealed that GMOs pose a serious health hazard.

If we refer to the topic of grassroots movements, we should take into consideration several important points regarding this issue. Firstly, in the world there are many international organizations (the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, (the North American Free Trade Agreement and son on), but these institutions are not democratic one, because they have no direct accountability to citizens. But with the emergence of transnational global movements the participation of citizens in these movements was deepen and broaden. Various NGOs, personalities, networks and so on exist within these movements and act on the different level - from the local to global. Of course, the level of power of each of the components of social movement depends on the size, degree of influence and many other factors (Batliwala, 2002).

As a rule, in the countries where the civil society began to form long time ago, where the democracy is truly democracy and the political regime is not on transitional stage, the level of access of grassroots through NGOs to the policy-forming institutions are more free and direct. Actually the distinction of democratic states is that such channels of influence exist within them. But in not democratic states, or in transitional democracies, such channels of influence absent. Under such circumstances, government authorities invite elite NGOs (that in the theory were derived from the grassroots) into policy-making process, because such NGOs are familiar with bureaucratic language (Batliwala, 2002). At the same time, the communication with grassroots groups is difficult due to the inability to control them. So it is more convenient to cooperate with manageable elite NGOs in contrary with grassroots groups within which frequently there is no unified approach.

When we speak about civil society and grassroots NGOs, we imply that a movement consists from a lot of people, and its activity is not always in coordinated manner (Loh, 2003). And the more people feel a sense of belonging to this NGO, the more strong and efficient this NGO. People entered in any movement should identify themselves as a part of this movement, and what is more important, they should understand its accountability behind communities.

Constituents of grassroots NGOs take a part in making decisions and organizing the campaigns of NGOs. The changes in the strategies of NGOs should occur not through the disposal of leader, but through the collective actions and decisions adopted by the democratic procedures. This is a guarantee that power will not belong only to one person or a small handful of people.

3. Social network analysis

After consideration of social movements' and environmental NGOs' theory we would like to introduce one more notion which closely connects with the previous one. This is a social network. The truth is that all the things around us constitute different types of networks. The fact is that a model of network we are engaged influences on our daily life, our success and even our future. So, what is a social network?

A very simple, but clear and precise definition is the next:

A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called nodes, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency (such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike and etc.) (Social Network Analysis. Theory and Applications, 2011).

Thus, the main points in this definition is that social networks consist of nodes and relations connected them through ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors. There can be many kinds of ties between the nodes (Social Network Analysis. Theory and Applications, 2011).

We are not interested in the majority of mentioned above types of interdependency, because we should investigate namely NGOs that act in field of GMO issue.

When you begin studying NGOs and try to conduct social network analysis, you may wonder Why should we explore a network? Firstly, we think that studying the network allows to understand the components of this network more deeply. Ultimately, the aim of network analysis is to understand what are the connections between nodes of network (plus external connections), who is a central element of this network, and what can be done to improve the network?

In the opinion of authors of the research Social networks and organizations namely in the social sciences the research of network has several distinctive features that differentiate it from traditional approaches:

Network research more focuses on relations and the patterns of relations rather than on attributes of actors;

Network research can be conducted on multiple levels, respectively, can detect both macro and micro links;

Network research may contain simultaneously qualitative, quantitative, and graphical data (Kilduff M., Tsai W, 2003).

From the theoretical point of view, the cognitive network theory derived from the work of Lewin and Heider is rather interesting approach within which the organization can be understood as a network of cognitions. The cognitive network theory includes consideration of cognitive accuracy, cognitive balance, and cognitive maps. From this distinctive perspective, the organization can be understood as a network of cognitions (Kilduff M., Tsai W, 2003).

Network analysis allows to reveal a social structure of interesting for researcher network. Studying social structures helps us to understand the ways in which groups of actors cluster together in social space (Burt, 1978). Network approach can help us to find the ways in which individuals influence on institutional outcomes and in what way social structure affect these individuals (Huber, 1991). Very important feature of network analysis is an opportunity to delineate the density of social ties that can be applied for interpretation of nodes behavior (Alba, 1982).

In the social network analysis there are several concepts important for researchers that do not allow to overlook different specific aspects of organizational phenomena of networks. Among them are:

1. embeddedness;

2. social capital;

3. structural holes;

4. centrality.

A few words about each of the concepts.

1. Embeddedness

This point we can explain through a situation in business. For example, individuals prefer to have a deal with contractors who are at the same time are their relatives or friends rather than find partners in the open market (Uzzi, 1996). Sometimes members of network may suffer from a liability of unconnectedness in the term that organizational members fail to develop strong bonds of trust to important actors inside and outside the organization (Powell, 1996).

2. Social capital

This concept is well familiar for all the people engaged in the almost any science and initially was applied to economic disciplines. But for our topic we should consider social network' view, and Mitchell gave the next definition to the this notion:

Social capital means personal investments that could be used for economic advantage by the activation of particular links in a social network (Mitchell, 1974).

Social capital is not about money. To use social capital, it is necessary to draw upon the cooperation of another actor by, for example, asking for advice or help at work (Kilduff M., Tsai W, 2003). As it was defined in research Social networks and organizations:

Social capital is potential resources inherent in an actor's set of social ties (Kilduff M., Tsai W, 2003).

Enough precise and complete definition of social capital was given by Thomas Sander:

Social capital is the collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other (norms of reciprocity) (About social capital, n.d).

According to his opinion, social capital emphasizes specific benefits that flow from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with social networks (About social capital, n.d.).

3. Structural holes

In the network analysis structural holes mean gaps in connections between components of network. This absence of ties between individuals defines both the structure of networks and the opportunities to build social capital (Kilduff M., Tsai W, 2003).

Frequently, the majority of social structures is characterized by dense clusters of strong connections. A homogeneity of information or ideas is higher in the frameworks on one group of people as compared to that in between two groups of people (Burt, 2004). Thus, an individual that situates between these two groups gains important advantages. He receives a position of bridge between them and opportunity to transfer useful information and data from one group to another (Burt, 1992). According to the idea of Burt, those who stand near the holes in a social structure are at higher risk of having good ideas. New ideas emerge from selection and synthesis across the structural holes between groups (Burt, 2004). In result innovative ideas, new approaches and so on appear.

4. Centrality

In this concept we speak about actors connected other actors (which are not directly linked to each other). These actors are like bridges across structural holes and they have a high betweenness centrality in the social network (Brass, 1985). There are several paths for actors to become central one, for instance, when an actor has direct or even indirect connections with very popular individuals.

Researches and creators of social network analysis to evaluate the nodes of network, ties of it and the very network had introduced several characteristics of organization. This list includes:





The first measure is density that means the number of ties between actors. The higher the proportion of connections, the more dense the network (Kilduff M., Tsai W., 2003).

Centralization is implied a degree in which a network is centralized around one or several actors. The more centers in the network, the more organic work it has (Shrader et al., 1989).

One more index important for understanding of network is a reachability. This means that when the network is high-reachability one, their work is more efficient than the activity of low-reachability network, because the messages will reach more number of people through the same number of intermediaries (Kilduff M., Tsai W., 2003).

There is a method allowed to measure this index. Reachability can be understood as the average number of people reached per person over all possible steps (Mitchell, 1969).

The last one characteristics of networks is a balance. There we have to introduce two notions: reciprocity and transitivity. The first one is related to the situation when in the network ties between actors are symmetric (they have similar, for example, good attitude toward each other, it is a high degree of reciprocity). The high degree of transitivity we can observe in the next model: if actor A likes actor B, and actor A also likes actor C, then actor B and actor C also like each other (Kilduff M., Tsai W., 2003).

On the final stage, the networks analysis should provide us with a visual map of ties between individuals, organizations or groups of our network. For example, if we take the individual level, we can access the position of individuals within the network. Through such maps we can reveal the location of each member: is he central of peripheral one? Or maybe does he take the position of a main bridge in all the network?

Chapter 2. Situation around GMO in the world

environmental grassroots genetically modify

Currently the debates on GMO are very acute in the world. The agents of these debates belong to absolutely different fields of activity, they can be ecological activists, NGOs, politicians, scientists, and etc. Because there is no common approach to GMO issue, states act in different ways. Some of the countries use genetic engineering very actively (for instance, the US, Argentina, Brazil), another part of countries has undefined attitude to GMO and behave itself more careful and do not allow to their farmers grow GM corn or tries to limit this on legislative level (e.g. the European countries).

The US was the first country adopted the GM crops, and now it stays the largest cultivator accounting for 40.3% (73.1 million hectares) around the world (Clive, 2015). The next country which is known thanks to the GM crops is Brazil (23.3% of all GM crops all over the world or 42.2 million hectares). Argentina has a little bit less indicators (but also smaller territory of state) (Clive, 2015). Together, these top three countries grow over three quarters - 77% - of the world's GM crops (Where in the world are GM crops and foods, 2015).

India, China and several other countries (Canada, Paraguay, South Africa, Pakistan, and Uruguay) consist the rest part of states grown GM crops on its own territory. But their contribution is just about 4% of all grown GM crops in the world. According to the data, all ten above countries occupy 98% of global GM hectares (Where in the world are GM crops and foods, 2015).

Thus, the US, Brazil and Argentina grow 77% of the world's GM (over three quarters).

Now we will describe the situations around GMO in the US and Europe and try to compare these two different models.

1. The GM food vision in the USA

As it was already said in the introduction of this research, the USA is the most free state in the world in terms of GMO' use. It is interesting point that from the middle of twenty century to the mid 1980s, the USA had very strict regulation of health, safety and environmental risks. And it was stricter than in Europe. But from the 1980s, the situation has changed, and a range of European environmental and consumer regulations (including GMOs one) are now more restrictive than in the United States.

In the mid 70th, a group of American scientists called for a moratorium on research connected with genetic engineering, and this idea was reaffirmed in 1976 on the conference. Many recognized scholars supported the position of moratorium. But gradually the awareness of commercial potential came to mind, and initial support of careful attitude to the genetic engineering was replaced to this commercial benefit. Such a way the US chose the new path of active implementation of genetic engineering in daily life (Lynch D., Vogel D., 2015)

In that period of time, two issues appeared before the US government. The first one was linked to the necessity in creation of legal frameworks for such new phenomenon like genetic engineering. The second question was connected with the ambiguity in the nest point: what exactly should be controlled - the process that allows to produce new organisms or products, or the final product of biotechnology? And if the last one, what is the difference between, for instance, the cucumber produced with help of biotechnology and cucumber grown in conventional agriculture if they are similar?

The US agencies and governmental bodies derived into two camps. From the one side, it was the Food and Drug Agency (FDA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the White House (through its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Their position was directing on promoting the economic benefit new method and they wanted to control only the products produced through biotechnology. From another side, the Environmental Protection Agency insisted on the necessity to elaborate the new hazard appraisal techniques for GMOs. This put it for side of procedure regulation. Finally, the EPA, USDA and FDA were specified as three administrative and regulatory agencies for control over biotechnology (Lynch D., Vogel D., 2015).

Thereafter, the report from the National Research Council inferred that the result of genetic manipulation constitutes the groundwork for decision, not the not the process thanks to which the product was produced. Thus, it got to be the basis for the American regulatory approach toward GMOs.

As the same time, the USDA and FDA began to work on the active implementation of GMOs in the USA. All the forces were sent to the approving foods produced through biotechnology and simplification of this procedure.

A significant part of GMO issue in that time was a question of food labeling. The FDA concluded that labeling is not required. The EPA took more strict position and recommended to label the genetically modified food. But opposite view of scientists and their adherents in Congress led to not adoption the measures for labeling such food.

In May, 2000 a panel of the National Academy of Sciences issued a report endorsing the safety of those biotech foods currently on the market and opining that the process of inserting genes from one species into another was not inherently dangerous (Yoon, Petersen, 2000)

Under the administration of Bill Clinton there was the increase of financing of research linked to the investigation of possible risks from consumption of food with GMO. Administration proposed to strengthen measures toward the companies which refused from labeling the products that did not compose genetically modified components. It was even developed a special guideline for companies. Administration also hoped to oblige producers to publish reports concerning the risks from consumption of GM food in the internet in the open access (Lynch, Vogel, 2001). It also announced plans to reassure consumers about the safety of genetically modified foods by requiring developers to publish research and safety data on the internet.

On this wave several world famous companies like McDonald, Gerber and some others announced about their intentions to refuse from the use of genetically modified food in their production. But as it often happens, namely in that time the use of genetically modified seeds had increased 15 times in the US. Already in the end of 20th century more than a half of food in grocery-stores was grown from GM seeds (Lynch, Vogel, 2001). Despite this fact of so rapid introduction of GMO in the American market, the awareness of ordinary citizens remained low.

Currently, the situation has not changed. The formal requirement to conduct research of GM food before the placing on the market exists, but no one can oblige the company-producer to make it. Moreover, if the research is conducted, the company provides the FDA with the results of it where it is stated that the product is safe for consumers and can be sent to the market. The problem is that the FDA has no any power to recheck the information from the company, and after the inspection of a company's report, the FDA cannot ask any questions. From this moment the company is responsible for the product' safety and its influence on the health of consumers. Only in case of determination of harm of company's product, the company may be held liable (GMO Myths and Truths, 2014).

According to the opinion of the FDA, genetically modified products are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) (G.R.A.S., n. d.). But there are two criteria that should be performed for such recognition: firstly, experts should reach a consensus about safety of a checked product, secondly, this consensus should be supported by the scientific evidence and published study(ies). GMOs do not respond any requirements, there was no attempt to oblige two above steps. Because of it, many scientists tried to protest again such frivolous policy toward GM products. There were several sensational cases among them was the story of 2013 with the statement signed by nearly 300 scientists claiming that there is no any scientific prove and no consensus on GMO safety for consumption or for the environment (GMO Myths and Truths, 2014).

In the US there is such notion like substantial equivalence. This difficult notion means that if GMO consists from the same components as its non-GM counterpart, the GMO can be called safe one and there is no necessity in testing this GM organism. Because of the lack of scientific research, evidence base the method of substantial equivalence is subjected to criticism. A whole, this notion was introduced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which activity is oriented on the facilitating and development of international trade and not on the improvement and protection of human health (GMO Myths and Truths, 2014).

2. The European vision

In comparison to the situation in the US, Europa chose another attitude toward GMO. Active steps occurred in the mid 1980th, when the Directorate General on the Environment, Consumer Protection, and Nuclear Safety paid it attention to GMO more skeptically than other branches like Science, Developments or Research one. And already in 1985 the EU's Biotechnology Steering Committee was created for the developing and controlling measures on biotechnology within the European Union (Lynch, Vogel, 2001).

A precautionary principle was the base of Deliberate Release Directive. Every who wished to test its GMO was obliged to apply and submit an environmental risk assessment from the authority of relevant country (Lynch, Vogel, 2001). Moreover, there was another application that also should be filled out and sent to each European member state to get permission for the presence in the market of a particular country. In its turn, the EU member has a right to limit or prohibit the sale of a product if there are proved reasons about harm of it toward health of people, animals or environment (Adler, 2000).

During 1990th there were several sensational cases when heated discussions around GMOs began. The first one occurred in 1994: British company tried to interfere in European market with its canola. Special British authority (The British Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment) approved the canola and recommended to make the same to the European Commission. But several European members among which were Norway, Austria and Denmark was against this approval. Such position was based on the national research conducted within these countries by their scientists that detected the problems with contamination of local natural crops of canola (Lynch, Vogel, 2001). Such a way approval of canola was postponed to 1997 when that British company agreed to voluntarily label its GM product as genetically modified.

But it was difficult to fight with the US attack and attempt to introduce GMO within the EU. In 1996 the USA exported its first portion of genetically modified corn and soybeans to the Europa. The EU approved this American supply, but several European institutions like EuroCommerce, European food retailers demanded to separate GM from conventional soybeans. The seriousness of situation proved the case of cancellation the supply of for 650, 000 metric tons of soybeans by division of international company Unilever in Germany until the provisioner could assure that the product does not contain GM components (Bleifuss, 1996).

Finally, in December 1996 GM corn was exported to Europe, although the US denied the fact of GM content in the corn. This arrival of GM product became a reason of high media interest and public concern about GMO within whole European Union. As a result, the precautionary principle was strengthen in a number of European member states. In Great Britain and France the authorities even included the effects of agricultural practices in their risk assessment (Lynch, Vogel, 2001).

1998 year became a watershed one in the issue of labeling of GM products, because in this year through the qualified majority of the Council of Ministers the proposal on mandatory labeling of food contained genetically modified corn and soybeans was adopted. Lately, in 2000 the EU adopted more strict law according to which food containing at least 1% of GMO should be labeled (Jacob, 1998).


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