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GM-free private standards and their effects on biosafety decision-making in developing countries

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  • Gruère, Guillaume
  • Sengupta, Debdatta

Abstract

We provide a comprehensive review of international cases where GM-free private standards set up by food companies in developed countries have influenced biosafety policymaking in developing countries. We find 29 cases where private importers have directly or indirectly affected policy decisions in 21 countries. Most of the cases relate irrational fear of export losses to excessively precautionary decisions. These cases are based on two generally misleading premises: the belief that Europe or Japan represents the only market for exports, and the perception that non-GM segregation is infeasible or prohibitively costly in all situations. Our study also demonstrates the importance of information asymmetries across countries and agents and the role of risk aversion in seemingly irrational decision-making. The combination of these four factors helps us explain why presumed but unproven expected commercial losses still represents a significant impediment to biosafety policymaking in developing countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 399-406

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:5:p:399-406

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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Keywords: Genetically modified food Private standards Biosafety International trade;

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References

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  1. Knight, John G. & Mather, Damien W. & Holdsworth, David K., 2005. "Impact of genetic modification on country image of imported food products in European markets: Perceptions of channel members," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 385-398, August.
  2. Jaffee, Steve & Masakure, Oliver, 2005. "Strategic use of private standards to enhance international competitiveness: Vegetable exports from Kenya and elsewhere," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 316-333, June.
  3. Derek Berwald & Colin A. Carter & Guillaume P. Gru�re, 2006. "Rejecting New Technology: The Case of Genetically Modified Wheat," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(2), pages 432-447.
  4. Kym Anderson & Lee Ann Jackson, 2005. "Some Implications of GM Food Technology Policies for Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(3), pages 385-410, September.
  5. Codron, Jean-Marie & Giraud-Heraud, Eric & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2005. "Minimum quality standards, premium private labels, and European meat and fresh produce retailing," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 270-283, June.
  6. Aerni, Philipp & Bernauer, Thomas, 2006. "Stakeholder attitudes toward GMOs in the Philippines, Mexico, and South Africa: The issue of public trust," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 557-575, March.
  7. Paarlberg, Robert L., 2002. "The real threat to GM crops in poor countries: consumer and policy resistance to GM foods in rich countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 247-250, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Wafula, David & Gruère, Guillaume P., 2013. "Genetically modified organisms, exports, and regional integration in Africa," IFPRI book chapters, in: Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin & Gruère, Guillaume P. & Sithole-Niang, Idah (ed.), Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara, chapter 5, pages 143-157 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Martin Henseler & Isabelle Piot-Lepetit & Aida Gonzalez Mellado & Emanuele Ferrari & Martin Banse & Harald Grethe & Claudia Parisi & Sophie Hélaine, 2013. "On the asynchronous approvals of GM crops: potential market impacts of a trade disruption of EU soy imports," Working Papers 190177, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  3. Giraud, Georges, 2013. "The World Market of Fragrant Rice, Main Issues and Perspectives," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 16(2).
  4. Gruère, Guillaume & Narrod, Clare & Abbott, Linda, 2011. "Agricultural, food, and water nanotechnologies for the poor: Opportunities, constraints, and role of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research," IFPRI discussion papers 1064, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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