Transparency in Federal Policy-Making: the Case of Biotechnology in Animals Intended for Human Consumption
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This research project examines the degree of transparency of the Canadian Federal Government’s decision-making processes and institutions with respect to the human consumption of animals produced through modern biotechnology (biotechnology-produced animals). It provides a timely study of the Federal Government’s decision-making process; as of January 2013 the government has yet to determine whether, and how, biotechnology-produced animals are to be approved for human consumption. Foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are already commercially widely available in Canada. Research is well underway to see if biotechnology-produced animals may also be developed and introduced into the food system. Government decisions regarding the human consumption of biotechnology-produced animals have the potential to revolutionize food systems globally and nationally. This thesis offers an analysis of primary and secondary data focusing on the degree of federal transparency with respect to regulating GMO foods generally and, more specifically, the emerging policy issues around biotechnology-produced animals. This exploration sets the stage for the following investigation of barriers as well as opportunities to fostering federal transparency with respect to policy and regulatory decisions regarding GMO foods. Findings are directed towards members of the communities of interest who are interested in questions relating to the degree of federal transparency and government approaches to foods that contain material produced through modern biotechnology.