“Look North”: Conspiracy and the Sojazacíon of Argentina

“Look North”: Conspiracy and the Sojazacíon of Argentina

Geneva Smith


Abstract. The scientific community now overwhelmingly agrees that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are safe. Yet vigorous public debate continues worldwide about the entry of GMOs into the environment and food chain. Unique to the Argentine context, however, is that expert and civic debates about GM soy have more to do the redistribution of export profits than with potential environmental or health risks. In this essay, I examine Argentina’s GMO expert regulatory bodies and recent conspiracy theories as spaces where I would expect concerns to be voiced about the “dark side of the soy boom” (Lapegna 2013)—but are not. I argue that conspiracy theory involving GM soy’s economic prospects reveal both a pervasive unease about the industry, and that GM soy more closely indexes economic anxieties than environmental or health concerns. I explore the production and circulation of knowledge about GM soy that led to its role in economic sovereignty. I develop the idea that conspiracy centers on Argentines’ deepest concerns and ask whether the GM soy industry is seen more as an obstacle to redistributive politics than as a threat to the health of the Argentine population.

Keywords. Argentina, GMOs, Conspiracy

Download Full Text: Smith – Look North