Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Soybeans are now entering their 4th millennium. The influences of technology and trade have been key to this story since the beginning. Just as technology and trade have played a great role in the current status of soybeans, so too will these factors influence the future of this important crop. Without a doubt the single most significant issue in both technology yand trade influencing the future of soybeans is biotechnology. The topic is a science issue, but it is also a cultural, health, environmental and economic issue. Rarely has a technology, which has been developing for so long, burst onto the world stage in such a dramatic manner. As public debate on the role of technology in modern life takes up the issue of biotechnology, a second but intertwined debate progresses on globalism, multi-nationalism and free trade. Soybeans, because of their role in genetic technology and world trade, are perhaps one of the most visible and important symbols in the current discussion. For 3,000 years, man has brought genetic improvements to this plant for his own need and has established extensive trading systems based on the production and use of this little bean. Time, need and opportunity will resolve the current controversies relating to genetics and global trade. The route will not be without twists and turns, but soybeans will see us through the new millennium.