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Regulating biotechnology: comparing EU and US approaches. European Policy Papers #8

Patterson, Lee Ann and Josling, Tim (2002) Regulating biotechnology: comparing EU and US approaches. European Policy Papers #8. [Policy Paper]

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    Abstract

    The United States and the European Union share a common desire to provide a safe food supply and credible regulatory systems. However, they have adopted two very different regulatory approaches to deal with the increasing numbers of GM (generically modified) food and feed products coming to market. Consequently, the transatlantic relationship has become fraught with conflict over the issue of GM foods. This paper explores the nature of the two regulatory systems and the underlying social, political, and institutional factors that contributed to the develoment of these systems. It then explores the potential impact of these two regulatory systems on international trade. We distinguish between producer protectionism, a commonly recognized trade impediment, and overprotection of consumers that can also have trade implications. Because the potential for trade conflicts over GM foods could result in serious consequences for both the transatlantic relationship and the multilateral system of trade rules, various attemps at bilateral and multilateral reconciliation have been made. Unfortunately, most of these attempts have stalled or failed. Finally, the paper explores product labeling as a possible solution to the conflict. We distinguish between positive and negative labeling and positive and negative attributes. The paper concludes that leaving the labeling to producers and retailers of food would allow the market to work effectively and could allow the EU and the US to reach consensus without resulting in major trade disruptions.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > consumer protection policy
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    EU policies and themes > External relations > international trade
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > agriculture policy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Pittsburgh, University Center for International Studies, European Union Center of Excellence/European Studies Center > European Policy Paper Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2003
    Page Range: p. 25
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:14
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/28

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