The EU’s governance of plant biotechnology risk regulation: Still contested, still distinct

Paulette Kurzer, Grace Skogstad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Currently, European Union (EU) standards concerning the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for plant cultivation and for consumption as food or animal feed are the strictest in the world, and differ in several important ways from those in the United States, the world’s leading producer of genetically modified (GM) crops. Starting from the principle that GMOs are novel entities, the EU requires every GM product to undergo a scientific risk assessment to demonstrate its safety before it can be licenced for sale. It also requires all seeds, foods, and animal feed derived from GMOs to be labelled. Moreover, traceability rules require all those who produce, process, or market a GMO in the EU to keep records to enable the GMO to be tracked as it moves through the food and feed supply chain. None of these requirements exist in the US. The transatlantic EU-US gap resulting from the more rigorous EU GMO standards has also created a large EU-US gap in commercialisation of GM crops. While the US dominates in global GM crop production (growing forty-five per cent of GM crops worldwide - of which corn, soybeans and cotton are the USA’s largest crops), the EU’s twenty-seven member states grow less than one per cent of GM crops grown worldwide (ISAAA 2011).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRegulating Next Generation Agri-Food Biotechnologies
Subtitle of host publicationLessons from European, North American and Asian Experiences
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781136338441
ISBN (Print)9780415693615
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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