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Explaining International Differences in Genetically Modified Food Labeling Policies

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  • Guillaume P. Gruère
  • Colin A. Carter
  • Y. Hossein Farzin

Abstract

Many countries have adopted labeling policies for genetically modified (GM) food, and the regulations vary considerably across countries. We evaluate the importance of political-economic factors implicit in the choice of GM food labeling regulations. Using an analytical model, we show that production and trade-related interests play a prominent role in labeling decision-making. This conclusion is validated by an empirical analysis of GM food labeling policy choices. We find that countries producing GM crops are more likely to have less stringent labeling policies. Food and feed exporters to the European Union (EU) and Japan are more likely to have adopted stricter labeling policies. Labeling regulations in Asia and Europe are similar to those of Japan and the EU. Countries with no labeling policies are less developed, with important rural sectors and are more likely to have ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Copyright © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume P. Gruère & Colin A. Carter & Y. Hossein Farzin, 2009. "Explaining International Differences in Genetically Modified Food Labeling Policies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 393-408, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:17:y:2009:i:3:p:393-408
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sara Scatasta & Justus Wesseler & Jill Hobbs, 2007. "Differentiating the consumer benefits from labeling of GM food products," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(2-3), pages 237-242, September.
    2. Murray Fulton & Konstantinos Giannakas, 2004. "Inserting GM Products into the Food Chain: The Market and Welfare Effects of Different Labeling and Regulatory Regimes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 42-60.
    3. Jackson, Lee Ann & Anderson, Kym, 2003. "WHY ARE US AND EU POLICIES TOWARD GMOs SO DIFFERENT?," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 57898, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    5. Carter, Colin A. & Gruere, Guillaume P., 2003. "International Approaches to the Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 18(2).
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Vigani & Valentina Raimondi & Alessandro Olper, 2010. "GMO Regulations, International Trade and the Imperialism of Standards," LICOS Discussion Papers 25510, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. Groeneveld, Rolf A. & Wesseler, Justus & Berentsen, Paul B.M., 2013. "Dominos in the dairy: An analysis of transgenic maize in Dutch dairy farming," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 107-116.
    3. Philipp Aerni, 2011. "Do Political Attitudes Affect Consumer Choice? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Study with Genetically Modified Bread in Switzerland," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(9), pages 1-18, September.
    4. Vigani, Mauro & Olper, Alessandro, 2013. "GMO standards, endogenous policy and the market for information," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 32-43.

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