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The Impact of Asynchronous Approvals for Biotech Crops on Agricultural Sustainability, Trade, and Innovation

‘The Impact of Asynchronous Approvals for Biotech Crops on Agricultural Sustainability, Trade, and Innovation’ is the title of an Research Paper released by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) which “… outlines the main economic effects of the observed asynchrony in approvals for biotech-improved crops from regulatory systems in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers. Initially the authors describe the work of scientists from a range of academic disciplines who use a variety of modeling and analytical techniques to approach this general question. In the next section the authors discuss in detail the question at hand and why it is so important to producers and consumers worldwide. The report then describes concrete research results in several relevant areas, including the effects on trade, downstream industries, the adoption of biotechnology innovations, biotech investment and R&D, crop breeding, and farm income. Proposed policies that could decrease regulatory asynchrony and its impacts on the global agricultural economy are also discussed …”

Document Title: The title of the December 8, 2016 CAST News Release is “CAST Research Paper Examines Trade and Biotech Issues”

Organization: Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)

Source: December 8, 2016 CAST News Release

Web site: The December 8, 2016 CAST News Release is posted at
http://www.cast-science.org/news/?to_label_or_not_to_label&show=news&newsID=18441

The December 8, 2016 CAST Research Paper, titled “The Impact of Asynchronous Approvals for Biotech Crops on Agricultural Sustainability, Trade, and Innovation” is available at
http://www.cast-science.org/publications/test/?the_impact_of_asynchronous_approvals_for_biotech_crops_on_agricultural_sustainability_trade_and_innovation&show=product&productID=284473
* A brief summary is posted at
http://www.cast-science.org/publications/test/?the_impact_of_asynchronous_approvals_for_biotech_crops_on_agricultural_sustainability_trade_and_innovation_qc&show=product&productID=284481

Information about The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology is available at
http://www.cast-science.org/about/

Contact: Questions may be directed to the Task Force Chair, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, who is with the University of Missouri-Columbia at 573 882 0143; e-mail: KalaitzandonakesN@Missouri.edu

Summary: The text of the December 8, 2016 CAST News Release follows:

The Impact of Asynchronous Approvals for Biotech Crops on Agricultural Sustainability, Trade, and Innovation

This CAST literature review and report looks at problems caused by the current system of asynchronous approvals for biotech crops. The authors focus on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers, which show that asynchrony in the global approval of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth billions of dollars at risk. In particular, the increasing disparity in the biotech product approval timelines between exporting countries that utilize new technologies and large grain importing countries is a significant and growing impediment to trade, specifically in the European Union and China. As Task Force Chair Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes said, “How the world’s regulatory systems operate in the area of biotech crops is critically important to producers and consumers.” The paper shares research regarding the impacts on the following:

* trade
* downstream industries
* the adoption of biotechnology innovations
* biotech investment/R&D
* crop breeding
* farm income

The report offers several potential solutions and provides research about approaches that might ease the negative impacts of asynchronous approvals and LLP. “More research is needed to evaluate the global cost of asynchronous approvals and LLP, the impacts of asynchrony on innovation and crop improvements, and the decision-making process of biotech developers, in both the public and private sectors,” say the authors. “Timely research could inform policymaking and improve the design of policy instruments.”

Many factors influence the approval process–including differences in institutional arrangements, regulatory procedures, administrative capacity, and attitudes toward biotech crops. Therefore, the time required to review new biotech events varies significantly from one country to another. But, as this paper concludes, “As long as the current situation persists, agricultural biotechnology will be prevented from delivering the full range of promised benefits of improved standard of living and food security.”

Task Force Authors:
Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes (Chair), University of Missouri-Columbia
Val Giddings, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Alan McHughen, University of California-Riverside
Ken Zahringer, University of Missouri-Columbia

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