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The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms on a Local Level: Exploring the Determinants of Cultivation Bans

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  • Ulrich Hartung

    (Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University, Bergheimer Straße 58, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany)

  • Simon Schaub

    (Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University, Bergheimer Straße 58, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany)

Abstract

This study investigates municipalities’ regulatory activities in the field of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) for agricultural use. To explore the determinants of these activities, the case of Germany was selected as in this country, municipalities have legal possibilities to impose local GMO cultivation bans. Using data from 131 local council resolutions, the combination of qualitative and quantitative content analysis shows that, in most cases, no single factors, but a variety of factors lead to regulatory activity. The study reveals that functional motivations to prevent negative socio-economic effects or impacts on the environment or human health are decisive for municipalities’ decisions to regulate. Furthermore, the results of the quantitative analysis unveil that municipalities often refer to both socio-economic reasons and risks for the environment and human health when justifying their decisions. Moreover, the results indicate that local policymakers impose popular cultivation bans to promote their own political success. Finally, the horizontal diffusion of regulations between municipalities, but also vertical diffusion from higher political levels can be observed. Overall, the results of this study on GMOs on a local level further emphasize the importance of analyzing the interdependencies between agroecosystems and socio-economic systems in their full complexity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Hartung & Simon Schaub, 2018. "The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms on a Local Level: Exploring the Determinants of Cultivation Bans," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-23, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:10:p:3392-:d:171627
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Changxin Yu & Haiyan Deng & Ruifa Hu, 2019. "Attitude Gaps with Respect to GM Non-Food Crops and GM Food Crops and Confidence in the Government’s Management of Biotechnology: Evidence from Beijing Consumers, Chinese Farmers, Journalists, and Gov," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-19, December.
    2. Jale Tosun & Herman Lelieveldt & Trevelyan S. Wing, 2019. "A Case of ‘Muddling Through’? The Politics of Renewing Glyphosate Authorization in the European Union," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-18, January.
    3. Vojislava Bursić & Gorica Vuković & Magdalena Cara & Marija Kostić & Tijana Stojanović & Aleksandra Petrović & Nikola Puvača & Dušan Marinković & Bojan Konstantinović, 2021. "Plant Protection Products Residues Assessment in the Organic and Conventional Agricultural Production," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(3), pages 1-13, January.
    4. Beate Friedrich, 2019. "Pathways of Conflict: Lessons from the Cultivation of MON810 in Germany in 2005–2008 for Emerging Conflicts over New Breeding Techniques," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-17, December.

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