Addicted to Glyphosate: The Political Economy of Chemical Dependent Agriculture

When and Where

Wednesday, November 04, 2020 12:10 pm to 2:00 pm


Jennifer Clapp, Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability, Professor, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo

Abstract: The growing use of chemical herbicides for weed control has become a dominant feature of modern industrial agriculture, and a major environmental and health concern in agricultural systems worldwide. In this talk, Jennifer Clapp outlines two major forces that help explain how and why glyphosate-based agricultural herbicides have become so entrenched in modern agriculture. First, a complex interaction of changing technological, market, and regulatory developments have directly shaped the contours of agribusiness firms’ technological research and development over three distinct phases since the 1980s. Second, corporate consolidation and power over the past 50 years has indirectly shaped the contours of technological innovation in ways that reinforced the role of herbicides, and glyphosate in particular, as a key agricultural input.

Brief Bio: Jennifer Clapp is a Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. She has published widely on the global governance of problems that arise at the intersection of the global economy, food security and food systems, and the natural environment. Among her recent books are Food, 3rd Edition (Polity, 2020), Speculative Harvests: Financialization, Food, and Agriculture (with S. Ryan Isakson, Fernwood Press, 2018), and Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid (Cornell University Press, 2012). Jennifer is a member of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the UN Committee on World Food Security, and is currently working on a book on corporate concentration in the agricultural input industry.

Location: ONLINE. To register for this event, please open the Eventbrite page.