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Towards Flexible Coexistence Regulations for GM crops in the EU


  • Matty Demont
  • Yann Devos
  • Olivier Sanvido


The European Union (EU) is currently facing a challenge that might unnecessarily hamper the adoption of GM crops: regulating the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops. Member states are currently implementing or developing both "ex ante" coexistence regulations and "ex post" liability schemes to ensure that both GM and non-GM crops can be cultivated in the EU. In this article, we explore in detail how national and/or regional policymakers can build in a certain degree of flexibility in "ex ante" coexistence regulations in order to reduce the regulatory burden on certain agricultural options and avoid jeopardising the economic incentives for coexistence. We use the example of GM maize as a case study, being the only GM crop planted over a significant area in the EU. We conclude that flexibility could be integrated into regulations at different levels: (i) at the regulatory level by relaxing some of the regulatory rigidity in "ex ante" regulations; (ii) at the farm level by allowing the substitution of isolation distances by pollen barriers; and (iii) at the national/regional level through plural coexistence measures, consistent with heterogeneity of farming in the EU. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Matty Demont & Yann Devos & Olivier Sanvido, 2010. "Towards Flexible Coexistence Regulations for GM crops in the EU," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 9(2), pages 18-24, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:9:y:2010:i:2:p:18-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Finger, Robert, 2010. "Evidence of slowing yield growth - The example of Swiss cereal yields," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 175-182, April.
    2. Erwin Schmid & Franz Sinabell, 2004. "On the Choice of Farm Management Practices after the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in 2003," WIFO Working Papers 233, WIFO.
    3. Stefan Mann, 2005. "Different Perspectives on Cross-Compliance," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 14(4), pages 471-482, November.
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