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By Grant E. Isaac

Genetically converted (GM) agricultural plants that are authorized as secure in North the United States (Canada and the USA) are dealing with major regulatory hurdles in having access to the ecu Union. the improvement and commercialization of GM vegetation illustrate a posh problem dealing with exchange international relations - the problem of regulatory regionalism created by way of social regulatory obstacles.

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

Example text

In respect of insect resistance, several agricultural crops, such as maize and cotton, have been genetically modified to express the pesticidal characteristics of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a soil microorganism that produces a protein toxic to certain insects (Harlander, 1993). Production-trait applications were the most common GM crops up to the 2000 crop season, with over 100 million acres planted to GM varieties (James, 2000). Of these applications, most are single-trait stacking modifications, whereby the genetic material for, say herbicide tolerance, is transferred, creating a GM variety that is herbicidetolerant.

Secondly, income-elastic social regulatory barriers could fragment international markets into exclusionist social regulatory jurisdictions that hinder multilateral economic integration and consequently limit the gains from trade. To deal with these concerns the economic perspective advocates that social regulatory barriers be subject to multilateral economic integration rules according to the traditional trade-diplomacy framework of the WTO. That is, social regulatory barriers should be subject to an economic interpretation of efficiency, they should have a minimum trade impact and trade diplomacy should avoid considering social arguments justifying the trade barriers (the integration strategy of the WTO will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 3).

The first is that they do not require the adoption of new agronomic practices or farm implements. They can be produced within the tradi- 36 Chapter 2 tional intensive agricultural production system, although they may require changes in the chemical regimes. The second is that, since the end attributes of the GM varieties remain the same or ‘substantially equivalent’ to those of conventional non-GM varieties, they are both for the same end use and sold into the same processing and distribution system, where it is virtually impossible to distinguish between the two.

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