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Agricultural Biotechnology and Transatlantic Trade: by Grant E. Isaac

By Grant E. Isaac

Genetically changed (GM) agricultural plants that are authorized as secure in North the United States (Canada and the us) are dealing with major regulatory hurdles in having access to the ecu Union. the advance and commercialization of GM plants illustrate a posh problem dealing with alternate international relations - the problem of regulatory regionalism created by way of social regulatory limitations.

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Extra resources for Agricultural Biotechnology and Transatlantic Trade: Regulatory Barriers to GM Crops (Cabi Publishing)

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The key to genetic modifications is that all organisms interpret DNA in the same way. In this sense, all organisms are related (Office of Technology Assessment, 1984; Barton, 1998). However, sexual com- Agricultural Biotechnology 33 patibility for the most part limits genetic transfer. Traditional plantbreeding techniques, such as the hybridization of maize, attempted to isolate the expression of desirable characteristics by controlling the sexual reproduction of crops. Modern biotechnology allows plant breeders to isolate and control genetic traits at a much more specific level.

Once the market was working efficiently, then optimal levels of social regulations could be established, rather than the reverse process, where suboptimal social regulations are first established, which then hinder market efficiency. Additionally, it was proposed that a subsidiarity or devolution policy be adopted in the regulatory development process in order to decrease the variance in economic and social preferences, decrease the number of special interests lobbying the process and enhance the link between the regulators and those that the regulations affect.

Yet, while applications in other sectors have been readily accepted, agricultural biotechnology has been controversial. The objective of this chapter is to define what is meant by genetically modified (GM) agricultural crops, to describe both current and future applications and to assess the factors that have made the consumer acceptance of GM crops controversial. There are two important caveats. First, this description is not intended as a comprehensive introduction to biotechnology (see Krimsky and Wrubel, 1996; Grace, 1997; Ho, 1998; Wartburg and Liew, 1999; McHughen, 2000).

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