Genetically modified soybeans in animal feed : commercial actors’ ethical perspective in the Swedish market
Sammanfattning: The world’s population is increasing, thus the need for food as well. As a result, innovation is needed in the agriculture sector to increase the production of food. Genetically modified, GM, crops could be such an innovation. However, with the use of GM crops today, some disadvantages have led to that the European Union have banned GM crops in cultivation within the union. Nevertheless, the EU imports a significant amount of GM crops from other parts of the world, such as Brazil, to use in animal feed, especially GM soybeans due to the high protein content. Sweden is the one country within the union that only imports GM-free soybeans due to a joint agreement among commercial actors. While GM crops are globally grown on approximately 170 million hectares in the world, the debate concerning its appropriateness as food source is common in the EU. Even if a lot of research has been done in the field of GM crops, a consensus has not yet been reached if a GM crops should be accepted to be cultivated within the EU. Research has been done on both consumers’ and policy makers’ attitudes regarding GM crops. However, little attention has been made on the commercial actor’ perspective. This study aims to, by using an ethical framework, investigate the commercial actors’ perspective regarding the use of GM soybeans in animal feed in Sweden. The empirics of this study focus on an existing multi-stakeholder network, The Swedish Soy Dialogue, where commercial actors have promoted a more sustainable soy production but have not discussed GM soybeans. Through a purposive sampling strategy, four key informants were selected to provide the study with empirical data. The study has a qualitative approach, and the data were collected using semi-structured interviews. In this study, the use of GM soybeans in animal feed has been seen as a wicked problem. A nuanced picture of the different key informants is presented in the light of the analytical framework that is developed from this study’s theoretical framework. The key informants have different reasoning and motive behind their standpoint, all of them equally meaningful and important when trying to get an understanding of the different perspective.
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