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Pressure groups are important in the debate about Genetic modification. How would you define pressure groups?

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Pressure groups are important in the debate about Genetic modification. How would you define pressure groups? How do pressure groups seek to promote their interests and what are the main factors which determine their effectiveness ?, How effective have pressure groups been in shaping the GM debate? Pressure groups can be defined as offering the public more democracy and thus enabling them to influence government decisions after an election has been won. Many people see pressure groups as a vital extension of democracy whereas others view them with less enthusiasm. (www.historylearningsite.co.uk/pressure_groups.htm) The definition of a pressure group does not clearly distinguish between the groups that fall under the term; this is because pressure groups vary enormously in size. A pressure group can be a large organisation like the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), which represents over 150,000 businesses, or on the other hand it can also be a single issue locally based organisation like CLARA (Central Area Leamington Resident's Association), which represents less than 300 households campaigning to help preserve and improve the local town of Leamington Spa. (www.historylearningsite.co.uk) There is also no direct distinction between the more extreme pressure groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, whose primary aim is to campaign against illegal activities such as planting bombs, and the pressure groups such ...read more.


A public debate has also been authorsied by the government to identify the issues surrounding Gm foods. The results of this report are still pending and will be released in late 2003.We can not determine exactly how effective pressure groups have been in shaping the GM debate without knowing the full results of the report. But without the intervention and lobbying of pressure groups new regulations would not have been considered or even introduced without intense lobbying by pressure groups. Conclusion Pressure groups such as Friends of the Earth and Green Peace have helped increase the awareness of the possible implication of GM technology. This has mainly been due to the intense lobbying, and protests carried out. It is due to these activities by these pressure groups that Governments have taken notice and thus introduced labeling regulation and proposed a detailed investigation. Pressure groups have been effective and thus helped increase the GM debate in Britain. Many large food producers have also issued packaging regulations. Had it not been for the involvement of pressure groups, the GM debate would not have gone as far is has gone, thus preventing the general public and major firms being aware of the implications of GM foods and GM technology. ...read more.


This however has not been the case, as a number of problems have occurred. An example of this was when Monsanto was fined for failing to control its genetic modification trials. Pressure groups such as Friends of the earth, and Green peace have been lobbying the World Health organization, to raise awareness and prevent GM foods to be categorized in the same way as organic foods. Other groups have also joined this campaign e.g. the Environment Minister have raised the issue that their crops are at risk from cross contamination from GM trial crops. This can occur when pollen is transported and carried by birds, bees and the wind thus contaminating other crops. (www.sprint.net.au/~rwb/globen.htm) and (course handouts) Conclusion Globalization has had a large impact on the development of GM technology and GM foods. Without the advantage of Globalization many GM companies would not have grown and expanded so rapidly e.g. Monsanto .GM companies like Monsanto have only grown in size and technological advancement due to the increase in communication brought about due to Globalization. Many companies may feel that Globalization has benefited them enormously but, it may be these benefits that lead to their eventual downfall e.g. Monsanto's economic strength and GM technology has brought a worldwide campaign against them, from major pressure groups thus causing increasing the GM debate in worldwide and in Britain. ...read more.

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