Our research

EcoNexus researches the science behind selected new bio-technologies and the way these technologies are presented and employed. EcoNexus has the scientific expertise necessary for detailed scientific analysis as well as experience of researching corporate influence of governments, regulatory agencies, academia and society. Currently we focus on genetic engineering technology. We critically analyse, from a scientific perspective, risks to health, environment, agriculture and food security arising from the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We research and critique the promotion of GMOs as a solution to various social and agricultural problems, especially the proposition that genetic engineering will help to feed the world. We examine and seek to anticipate the effects that the use of GMOs will have on agriculture, farmers and local communities in both developed and developing countries. EcoNexus focuses in particular on aspects which may have been neglected or assumed to be unimportant by other commentators, e.g.: the impacts of genetic engineering itself on the genome into which the genes are inserted. Specific topics are chosen according to the degree of need for critical analysis and for the expertise we can bring. Within these parameters we also carry out research on topics specifically requested by groups such as CSOs/NGOs, POs, farmer initiatives, indigenous people's organisations, some government bodies or committees or certain businesses whose aims we agree with. Such topics may be neglected by other commentators, sometimes because they raise uncomfortable issues. EcoNexus is therefore ready to respond to requests for further information and research, depending on aims and principles of the requesting group.

Why we do this? The application of new technologies has historically been problematic. Though they are often proposed as a solution to a current problem they themselves may create new ones which were not predicted in time and others that were predicted only by specialists who were ignored. Additionally, the hope of a simple technical solution to a complex problem may distract attention and divert resources from essential political and social responses to the initial or underlying problem. In common with other new technologies, the development of genetic engineering is largely controlled by a a few powerful corporations. These corporations exert unprecedented influence over governments and academia, who are both failing in their obligation to adequately monitor and control the development and use of this technology and to safeguard public health and the environment.

Our research methodology EcoNexus collects and analyses up-to-date and relevant data from a wide variety of sources. These include the scientific literature, patent applications, release and marketing applications for GMOs around the world. We track government, corporate and institutional policies on GM crops, GM food & feed and patents on gene sequences and organisms where publicly available. We also carry out interviews and collect oral witness statements. Our research documents provide a thorough and original analysis of each topic selected. We invite collaboration and seek to minimise duplication of work.