Despite the government of Canada's close relationship with the biotechnology industry, critical social movement organisations have had a significant impact on the adoption of genetically modified organisms in that country. Two cases of products rejected after widespread resistance - recombinant bovine growth hormone (1999) and herbicide-tolerant Roundup Ready (RR) Wheat (2004) - are revisited. Informed by empirical research that brings to light new factors shaping the RR wheat outcome in particular, two theoretical arguments are advanced. First, in response to those critics of a neo-Gramscian framing of hegemony who see it as overly deterministic, these cases highlight just how deeply alliances with hegemonic ambitions may be forced to compromise. Second, these cases demonstrate that any study of civil society must still pay close attention to institutional and material 'relations of force' when seeking to explain the impact of social movements on environmental governance.
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