Genetically modified food
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GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD. by Mary Figueredo Carlos Guzman Carmen Huzum Agnes Pawelkowska. What is GM Plant?. A GM plant contains a gene or genes which have been artificially inserted instead of the plant acquiring them through pollination. GM CROPS Source:Colorado State University.

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Genetically modified food



Mary Figueredo

Carlos Guzman

Carmen Huzum

Agnes Pawelkowska

What is gm plant

What is GM Plant?

  • A GM plant contains a gene or genes which have been artificially inserted instead of the plant acquiring them through pollination.

Gm crops source colorado state university

GM CROPSSource:Colorado State University

Gm crop production a rea by country

GM Crop ProductionArea by Country

Future crops helping the environment and food supply

Future Crops: Helping the Environment and Food Supply

  • Golden Rice

  • Plant Based Vaccines

  • Coffee and Tea

  • Tobacco

  • Improved TurfGrass for Lawns and Recreational Areas

Looking forward

Looking Forward

  • What are the issues supporting and opposing GM foods?

  • What are the positions of the US and Europe?

  • Where does the WTO stand on this?

  • Proposed solutions to this trade dispute

Genetically modified crops in the us

Genetically modified crops in the US

Benefits of biotechnology from the us perspective interests groups

Benefits of biotechnology from the US perspective(interests groups)

  • Benefits for US farmers

    -GM crops offer prospects of reducing input costs or making planting more flexible

    -technology allows farmers to reduce their use of chemical pesticides (more environment – friendly practices)

  • Benefits for US consumers

    -GM food improves freshness and taste

    -GM food enriches nutrition

    -GM food decreases allergencity and lowers fat content

  • Benefits for the rest of the world

    -technology holds promise for enhancing agricultural productivity and for improving nutrition In developing countries

    - distribution problem can be resolved by graining GM crops in poor countries (overcome the world hunger).

The us government and the gm products

The US government and the GM products

  • George W. Bush and his “anti-regulatory”leaning (“There are no limits [on what] responsible biotechnology can bring to America and the world”.

  • Biotechnology provisions in the 2002 Farm Bill:

    -a biotechnology and agricultural trade program ,aimed at barriers to the export of the US products through biotechnology (section 3209)

    -competitive grants for biotechnology risk assessment research (section 7210)

    -agricultural biotechnology research and and development for developing countries (section 7505)

    -a program of public education on the use of biotechnology in producing food for human consumption (section 10802)

The us regulatory oversight in biotechnology

The US Regulatory oversight in Biotechnology

  • The Agencies primarily responsible for regulating biotechnology in the US are:

    -the US Department of Agriculture(USDA)

    -Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)

    -the Food and Drug Administration(FDA)

  • Products are regulated according to their intended use, with some products being regulated under more than one agency.

  • The guiding principle is that GMF are “substantially equivalent” to conventional foods, therefore existing regulations for approving foods are appropriate and adequate.

  • Labeling with respect to GM content is not required in the US, except where there is a significant difference between the conventional and the GMF.

Skepticism over gm products

Skepticism over GM products

  • Europeans oppose GMF (dangers to human health or the environment)

  • Europeans call GMF- Frankenfood

  • EU countries fight against the biotechnology process

  • Europeans are scare to death of GMF- bad experience with contamined food-mad cow disease

Risks and controversies surrounding gmf

Risks and controversies surrounding GMF

  • Safety----- potential human health impact

    ------potential environmental impact

  • Access and intellectual property

    - domination of world food production by a few companies

    -increasing dependence on industrialized nation by developing countries

  • Biopiracy---foreign exploitation of natural resources

  • Ethics-------violation of natural organisms’ intrinsic values

  • Society------new advances may be skewed to interest to reach countries.

Current legislation in the eu on gmos

Current Legislation in the EU on GMOs

  • EU legislation on GMOs has been in place since 1990

    -Directive 90/220/EEC

    -Directive 2001/18/EC

  • Procedure for the approval of introducing on the market of GMF

    -Member State, Scientific Committees, Commission, Council of Ministers

    -public information

  • Statistics

    -until 1998 18 GMOs applications have authorized in the EU;

    2 cases still not implemented by the Member State.

    -since Oct.1998, no further authorization

  • European Food Authority- the main organization for GMOs approval

Trade disputes between the eu and the us

Trade disputes between the EU and the US

  • 1998 –the EU banned imports of all new GMF

  • “Precautionary Principle”- violation of WTO rules

  • High priced food fight between US and EU involving GMF

  • The US wants to file a case at the WTO against EU restrictions over GMF (pressure from US agribusiness)

International rules for gmos

International Rules for GMOs

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO).

    - Food safety, technical barriers to trade, and intellectual property rights protection.

  • The United Nations Biosafety Protocol (BSP).

    - Biodiversity and non-scientific concerns.

The biosafety protocol bsp provides that

An “Advanced Informed Agreement (AIA)” between exporting country and importing country is require for living GM organisms.

An importing country may refuse the GM shipment if there are undue risks identified through a science-based risk assessment.

Countries may consider “socio-economic factors” in their reviews.

A “precautionary principle”may be applied to block GM imports which could be harmful to biological diversity without complete scientific certainty.

The Biosafety Protocol (BSP) Provides that

Wto agreements

WTO Agreements

  • The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and PhytosanitaryMeasures (SPS)

    -Establishes rules and procedures to ensure that measures address health concerns.

  • The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

    - Establishes rules and procedures to develop standards, technical regulations, and assessment procedures

  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

    -Domestic regulatory regimes pertaining to intellectual property must provide protection to goods produced using biotechnology.

Wto agreement provisions

WTO Agreement Provisions

  • Permit national standards or regulations of commodities in international trade and the adoption or enforcement of measures necessary to protect health (Articles XI and XX (b)).

  • Require that regulations should be based on the WTO’s principle of non-discrimination (PND) whereby there is a distinction between products and processing methods. All “like-products” are to be treated the same regardless of the production and processing methods.

  • Permit under specific circumstances, countries may legitimately violate the PND in order to meet domestic concerns or goals.

Applicable rules under sps and tbt

Applicable Rules under SPS and TBT



  • Seek full harmonization, or further cooperation and coordination concerning biotechnology and the development of labeling regimes aiming at achievement of a uniform regulatory framework.

  • Try to prevent the capture and capricious use of administrative procedures relating to GM crops and food products and make this a high priority.

  • Pursue a consistent coordinated approach to trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. This is also important.

  • Use different mechanisms such as regional agreements, memoranda of understanding, mutual recognition agreements, formal dialogues and joint research projects to decrease bilateral regulatory barriers to GM food trade.



  • The WTO has no mechanism to allow the imposition of trade barriers directly in response to consumer or environmental groups asking for protection.

  • Governments have attempted to use the SPS and TBT to justify the imposition of trade barriers but GM-foods do not appear to pass either the “food safety hazard test” or the “unlike product test” required to put trade barriers in place in violation of the PND.

Conclusions cont

Conclusions (cont.)

  • The means for dealing with consumer concerns (labeling, traceability, and product segregation in supply chains) will impose considerable costs on exporters.

  • Exporters can be expected to resist strict import regimes and to have a high degree of interest in the type of import regimes and regulations that may arise.

  • Developing countries feel particularly vulnerable given their low level of technical capability in the complex areas of food safety, environmental sustainability, and supply-chain monitoring.

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