Resistance Is Fertile
312 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jan 2014
Release Date:01 Apr 2013
Release Date:13 Mar 2013

Resistance Is Fertile

Canadian Struggles on the BioCommons

UBC Press

For decades, government, industry, and the mainstream media have extolled the virtues of biotechnology. Their dominant message – that biotechnology can improve everything from our health and diet to our environment and economy – is unmistakably celebratory. We hear about biotechnology’s power to reverse environmental degradation, help medical researchers identify disease genes, and increase industrial efficiency, output, and jobs. Government and industry rarely tell us about its negative side effects. Not only are genetically engineered crops still failing to deliver consistently higher yields, but there is also mounting evidence that genetically engineered organisms come with a host of safety and environmental risks.

Focusing on agriculture, Resistance Is Fertile challenges the dominant rhetoric surrounding biotechnology by offering a critical analysis of the role of capital and the state in the development of this technoscience. In particular, Wilhelm Peekhaus analyzes the major issues around which opponents of agricultural biotechnology in Canada are mobilizing resistance -- namely, the enclosure of the biological commons and the knowledge commons, which together form the BioCommons. What emerges is an empirically and theoretically informed analysis of topics such as Canada’s regulatory regime, the corporate control of seeds, the intellectual property system, and attempts to construct and control public discussions about agricultural biotechnology.

This book will appeal to scholars of agricultural biotechnology, political economy, and environmental studies as well as anyone who cares about the impact of genetically engineered organisms on our health and environment.

Resistance Is Fertile is an outstanding contribution to the field of biotechnology. Wilhelm Peekhaus weaves the empirical content brilliantly into an enlightening discussion of both political economy and social resistance. Rodney Loeppky, Department of Political Science, York University
Wilhelm Peekhaus is an assistant professor at the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


1 Canadian Biotechnology Policy and Its Critics

2 Enclosure and Resistance on the BioCommons

3 Battles to Reclaim and Maintain the BioCommons

4 Intellectual Property Rights: Facilitating Capital’s Command over Biotechnology

5 Regulatory Capture and Its Critics

6 Capture and Control of Biotechnology Discourse in Canada





Find what you’re looking for...

Free shipping on online orders over $40

Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters

Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.