Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Biosafety at the crossroads: An analysis of South Africa's marketing and trade policies for genetically modified products

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gruère, Guillaume P.
  • Sengupta, Debdatta

Abstract

"South Africa is the only country in Africa that has both adopted genetically modified (GM) crops and developed a functional biosafety system to manage any risks related to the use of GM products. But it is also one of the only countries that trade both GM and non-GM crops, despite being surrounded by countries banning the use of GM products. In this paper, we analyze the marketing and trade policies for GM products in South Africa that have been successful in the past and critically review recent reforms to these policies. By providing trade volume estimates of potentially GM products, we show that South Africa is effectively a significant exporter and importer of both GM and non-GM products. We then show that although its import approval system has been effective, recent reforms have allowed regulators to use biosafety regulations as an apparent nontariff barrier to trade. On the export side, South Africa has been able to adapt to each specific demand, but potential export risks have gradually entered the decisionmaking process through the inclusion of socioeconomic considerations. On the marketing side, we show that although non-GM maize segregation has been successful so far, it has generated some adjustment costs and could be improved. At the same time, by excluding all current GM products, the GM food labeling regulation in place has not been fully satisfactory and is bound to change; it could be heading toward a strict mandatory system, despite limited public demand. Therefore, there is a clear movement toward more costly and rigid trade and marketing regulations for GM products in South Africa, with local special-interest groups having an increasing influence on decisionmaking. Yet, the past 10 years have demonstrated that South Africa's success in taking advantage of biotechnologies under changing global conditions stems mainly from its adaptation capacity and the flexibility of its system. Based on the analysis presented in this paper, we provide six policy recommendations to improve rather than rigidify market and trade regulations—policies that would allow South Africa to better adapt to global changes, to manage risks rigorously but efficiently, and to take advantage of safe and potentially promising new GM technologies." from authors' abstract

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ifpridp00796.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 796.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:796

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-862-5600
Fax: 202-467-4439
Email:
Web page: http://www.ifpri.org/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Trade regulations; Genetically modified crops; Marketing; trade policies; Genetically modified products; Biosafety; Genetic resources; Science and technology;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:796. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.