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Economics of GM crop cultivation
Published December 31, 2011
7-19

Asynchronous approval of new GM crops across international jurisdictions is of growing concern due to its potential impact on global trade. Different countries have different authorisation procedures and, even if regulatory dossiers are submitted at the same time, approval is not given simultaneously (in some cases, delays can even amount to ye...ars). For instance, by mid-2009 over 40 transgenic events were approved or close to approval elsewhere but not yet approved – or not even submitted – in the EU.Yet, like some other jurisdictions,the EU also operates a zero-tolerance policy to even the smallest traces of nationally unapproved GM crops (so-called low-level presence). The resultant rejection of agricultural imports has already caused high economic losses and threatens to disrupt global agri-food supply chains. The risk that feed supplies could be affected by a low-level presence of non-EU approved GM material could be resolved if the EU allowed a tolerance for this, rather than operating a strict zero tolerance as now. The Commission has undertaken to come forward with a nonlegislative technical solution to address the difficulties created by a strict zero tolerance policy. To what extent this would be helpful will depend on the nature of the proposed solution.

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