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Special Issue "Sustainable Economics of Biotechnology"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Stuart Smyth

Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatoon, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: GM crops; regulation; innovation; sustainability
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Justus H.H. Wesseler

Department of Economics, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biotechnology; economics; genomics; policy; regulation; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advances in the biological sciences result in new technologies and services that facilitate response to changing food systems and provide new opportunities for the development of the bioeconomy. There is a need to better understand governance, policies and regulations and economic implications under this changing reality. Understanding these changes is important to improve policy responses contributing to sustainable development.

Against this backdrop, there has still been limited research on the contribution of recent developments in the field of biotechnology for sustainable development. This Special Issue invites submissions on "Sustainable Economics of Biotechnology" addressing a combination of biotechnology such as genomics (e.g., gene editing, gene drive) and related economic and policy issues. In particular, contributions to the 2018 ICABR conference are invited for submission.

Dr. Stuart Smyth
Prof. Dr. Justus H.H. Wesseler
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bioeconomy
  • biotechnology
  • economics
  • genomics
  • policy
  • regulation
  • sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Perception and Attitude toward GM Technology among Agribusiness Managers in China as Producers and as Consumers
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051342
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
China is one of the biggest consumers of genetically modified (GM) products, importing maize, soybeans and canola, and producing GM cotton. The cultivation of GM food crop, however, is still not permitted. Many studies argue that consumers’ attitude toward GM food safety is [...] Read more.
China is one of the biggest consumers of genetically modified (GM) products, importing maize, soybeans and canola, and producing GM cotton. The cultivation of GM food crop, however, is still not permitted. Many studies argue that consumers’ attitude toward GM food safety is a major barrier to GM food crop production in China. Recent studies suggest that special interest groups such as biotechnology scientists with an economic interest in biotechnology are more supportive of the technology than groups with nothing to gain. Others believe that agribusiness groups influence the debate about GM food production. This is the first study that examined agribusiness managers’ attitudes toward GM biosafety and their support for GM crop production. The sample was 160 firms in the seed, pesticide, feed and food processing industries. We found most agribusiness leaders are concerned about GM food consumption and oppose GM crop production. Using regression models, we found business managers’ attitudes toward GM crop cultivation are more supportive if they expect to profit, if they are already using GM crops in their firm or are doing research on GM crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economics of Biotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Using Gene Drive Technologies to Control Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4789; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124789
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
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Abstract
After years of success in reducing the global malaria burden, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that progress has stalled. Over 90% of malaria deaths world-wide occurred in the WHO African Region. New tools are needed to regain momentum and further decrease [...] Read more.
After years of success in reducing the global malaria burden, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that progress has stalled. Over 90% of malaria deaths world-wide occurred in the WHO African Region. New tools are needed to regain momentum and further decrease the burden of malaria. Gene drive, an emerging technology that can enhance the inheritance of beneficial genes, offers potentially transformative solutions for overcoming these challenges. Gene drives may decrease disease transmission by interfering with the growth of the malaria parasite in the mosquito vector or reducing mosquito reproductive capacity. Like other emerging technologies, development of gene drive products faces technical and non-technical challenges and uncertainties. In 2018, to begin addressing such challenges, a multidisciplinary group of international experts published comprehensive recommendations for responsible testing and implementation of gene drive-modified mosquitoes to combat malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Considering requirements for containment, efficacy and safety testing, monitoring, stakeholder engagement and authorization, as well as policy and regulatory issues, the group concluded that gene drive products for malaria can be tested safely and ethically, but that this will require substantial coordination, planning, and capacity development. The group emphasized the importance of co-development and co-ownership of products by in-country scientists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economics of Biotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle The Synergy between Aquaculture and Hydroponics Technologies: The Case of Lettuce and Tilapia
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103479
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
This study investigates the economic and environmental value of the use of technologies that convert pollution and waste in one production process to an input in another production process. The study focuses on an aquaponics case study to show that the negative externalities [...] Read more.
This study investigates the economic and environmental value of the use of technologies that convert pollution and waste in one production process to an input in another production process. The study focuses on an aquaponics case study to show that the negative externalities borne from intensive fish farming can be internalized without regulatory intervention through a combination of fish farming and hydroponics. The introduction of aquaponics diversified the farmers’ sources of income, yielded savings in the cost of water purification and the cost of fertilizer for the plants’ growth, and resulted in more fish and plant output compared to the unregulated scenario. While deriving these results, we also derive a separation rule for managing live aquatic inventory, which separates expenses (which are affected by the biology of fish) and income. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economics of Biotechnology)
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Open AccessPerspective Sustainability as a Framework for Considering Gene Drive Mice for Invasive Rodent Eradication
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051334
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 24 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
Gene drives represent a dynamic and controversial set of technologies with applications that range from mosquito control to the conservation of biological diversity on islands. Currently, gene drives are being developed in mice that may one day serve as an important tool for [...] Read more.
Gene drives represent a dynamic and controversial set of technologies with applications that range from mosquito control to the conservation of biological diversity on islands. Currently, gene drives are being developed in mice that may one day serve as an important tool for reducing invasive rodent pests, a key threat to island biodiversity and economies. Gene drives in mice are still in development in laboratories, and wild release of modified mice is likely a distant reality. However, technological changes outpace the existing capacity of regulatory frameworks, and thus require integrated governance frameworks. We suggest sustainability—which gives equal consideration to the environment, economy, and society—as one framework for addressing complexity and uncertainty in the governance of emerging gene drive technologies for invasive species management. We explore the impacts of rodent gene drives on island environments, including potential conservation and restoration of island biodiversity. We outline considerations for rodent gene drives on island economies, including impacts on agricultural and tourism losses, and reductions in biosecurity costs. Finally, we address the social dimension as an essential space for deliberation that will be integral to evaluating the potential deployment of gene drive rodents on islands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economics of Biotechnology)
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