Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

pp 1417-1423


Nanotechnology in Agriculture

  • Anne Ingeborg MyhrAffiliated withGenØk-Centre of Biosafety Email author 
  • , Bjørn Kåre MyskjaAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology


Agriculture; Ethics; Food science; Nanotechnology; Risk; Socio-economics


Climate change and increased global population give rise to a special emphasis on how agriculture can expand production under changing conditions. Agriculture has also seen radical changes the last century with a turn towards research-based, industrialized agriculture with large-scale monocultures, mechanization, increased irrigation, use of artificial fertilizers, and pest control systems, combined with a change from local towards export-oriented making of products to be used for food, feed, fuel, and fiber. Biotechnology-based interventions such as systematic breeding, as witnessed in the Green Revolution, and genetic modification have led to commercially successful but politically controversial herbicide-tolerant and pest-resilient varieties of major crops, with promises of a wide range of new varieties in the years to come. In recent years nanotechnology methods and products have been added ...

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