Science and Politics in the Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms in Brazil

Maya Mitre, Bruno P.W. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper analyzes the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Brazil, focusing on the debates that preceded the enactment in 2005 of the current Biosafety Law and the factors (both domestic and international) that influenced the policy‐making process. More specifically, it identifies the social and governmental actors that influenced the congressional debates, showing how their interests and agenda were translated into two different institutional frameworks. Here, the policy outcome was what we call a “hybrid” and “conciliatory” regulatory model, which formally acknowledges the importance of both technical/scientific and social/political considerations in the evaluation of GMO biosafety and engages most of the stakeholders in the regulatory process. The new policy regime also establishes a middle ground between the conflicting demands of promoting agricultural development and protecting the country's biodiversity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Policy Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)125-147
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotechnology
  • Developing countries
  • Environment
  • Governance

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