Culture, religion, and technology have shaped the development of society since the dawn of time. This article examines sacredness and happiness—as the common values all religions and cultures share—as the lens of weighing and balancing the perceived risk and benefits associated with agricultural biotechnology. The future of agbiotech rests in true cooperative engagement across all sectors of the agricultural network to address most of these conflicts, and this requires a strong religious and cultural understanding of how biotechnology might play into a region’s agricultural landscape. Shifting the focus to regional, small-scale agricultural challenges that support traditional food-ways and small-scale farmers could be one critical way to achieve this shift.
Key words: Culture, genetically modified organisms, papaya, religion, small farmers, sustainable agriculture, taro.