Hunger and Equity in an Era of Genetic Engineering

64 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2017

See all articles by Rebecca M. Bratspies

Rebecca M. Bratspies

City University of New York - School of Law

Date Written: December 14, 2017


This Article explores food insecurity in an era of climate change. The key working assumptions are that viable solutions to food insecurity must offer access to adequate and culturally appropriate food; must empower rather than exploit food producers; and must not degrade the environment or threaten human health. With those criteria in mind, this Article tests the notion that genetically engineered crops are a tool in the fight against hunger. In doing so, this Article highlights how narratives about science and equity are deployed both by the pro-agricultural biotechnology forces and by their opponents. The Article concludes that while genetic engineering might contribute to an equitable transformation of food production, the technology is embedded in economic and political power structures that stand in the way. As a result, the technology winds up underscoring existing imbalances, and undermining food equity.

Keywords: food, equity, gmo, genetically modified organism, genetic engineering, hunger, agriculture, food justice, food sovereignty, agriculture, climate change, sustainability, population, India, famine

JEL Classification: K10, K32, Q10, Q15, Q16, Q18, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Bratspies, Rebecca M., Hunger and Equity in an Era of Genetic Engineering (December 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Rebecca M. Bratspies (Contact Author)

City University of New York - School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

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