Valuable links as resources with information on genetically modified organisms and crops

Featured

I have found the following resources explaining many issues related to biotechnology, biosafety and genetically modified organisms quite valuable and would suggest consulting them if you are interested in getting a clear understanding of the issues. More will be added later

Biosafety and Regulatory Issues

Applied Biotechnology Issues

General resources

  • Scientific American: What is a Genetically Modified Food? video
  • The Lowdown on Pesticides with a Plant Pathologist

    jfalck:

    Understanding the role that pesticides have in terms of benefits, costs and risks is important to help us make better decisions as a society. Steve Savage (author blog Applied Mythology) does this brilliantly in helping us demystify and demythologize pesticides. Interview was done by Fourat Janabi (author blog Random Rationality) another excellent blog covering science and its role in society. Highly recommended both blogs.

    Originally posted on Random Rationality:

    As I delve further into the depths of agriculture, particularly in respect to GMOs which has become my pet project, I am consistently astounded by how much I don’t know. Granted, that hasn’t stopped me from forming, having, and propagating opinions, but always, in the recesses of my mind, preparing myself for the possibility that what I take for granted and believe in may be wrong.

    I was once wrong about GMOs, and then I was wrong again on pesticides. Continuing on in the same vein as my Lowdown on GMOs series, I’ve reached out to plant pathologist Steve Savage to pick his brain on pesticides as it is perhaps just as big an issue as the use of GMOs today. Enjoy.


    0 - Lots of folks are increasingly having concerns over pesticides. In that regard, before we begin, I think it will pay dividends to define a few things

    View original 3,247 more words

    Broader regulatory cost of compliance – Low Level Presence of Genetically Modified Crops

    Tags

    , , , , , ,

    Based on our presentation on behalf of IFPRI at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Technical Conference on the Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade held March 20-21, 2014 in Rome, Italy and based on responses from different stakeholders, we felt necessary to share not only the presentation but also our comments to the slides and additional information about the presentation.

    Slide12

    So far we have been referring to the cost of compliance in a relatively narrow manner. Let me broaden up the discussion to consider cost of compliance to regulatory issues as this has had a distinct set of implications particularly for developing countries .

    We have research that shows that regulatory delays have a negative impact on returns to investment. We have estimated that 6 years of delays is the trigger point to suspending an investment in a GM crop. In average, we seem to be reaching the 4 year mark so we are quite close to the trigger point.

    Regulatory delays in this sense, increase investment risk. This is a project investment decision weighing potential gains and probability of completing a regulatory process to obtain a net return. In the case of uncertainty this increases the likelihood that investment in R&D will not be made.

    References

     

    • Falck Zepeda, J., J. Yorobe, Jr., B. Amir Husin, A. Manalo, E. Lokollo, G. Ramon, P. Zambrano and Sutrisno “Estimates and Implications of the Costs of Compliance with Biosafety Regulations in Developing Countries: The case of the Philippines and Indonesia,”. GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology and Agriculture in the Food Chain. Volume 3, Issue 1 January/February/March 2012 http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/gmcrops/article/18727/?nocache=668315680
    • Smyth S.J., McDonald J., Falck-Zepeda J.B. Investment, regulation, and uncertainty: Managing new plant breeding techniques. GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain 2014; 5:4 – 3; http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/gmcr.27465
    • Bayer, J. C., G. W. Norton, and J. B. Falck-Zepeda. 2010. Cost of compliance with biotechnology regulation in the Philippines: Implications for developing countries. AgBioForum 13(1): 53-62. http://www.agbioforum.org/v13n1/v13n1a04-norton.htm

     

    Summary economic welfare impacts – Low Level Presence of Genetically Modified Crops

    Tags

    , , , , , ,

    Based on our presentation on behalf of IFPRI at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Technical Conference on the Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade held March 20-21, 2014 in Rome, Italy and based on responses from different stakeholders, we felt necessary to share not only the presentation but also our comments to the slides and additional information about the presentation.

    Slide11

    Summarizing the results of our research examining selected issues and policy options.The 0% policies are valid with high perceived risk and where there is not trust in the exporter(s) regulations. In turn, 100% pass are valid when price matters more than anything else. The country in essence disregard any other consideration except for price. Let me also clarify that although Gruere indicates that there is no probability of trade disruptions with 100% pass policy, obviously this is no an absolute, but it is in practice. highly unlikely.

    In conclusion establishing, LLP policies are then valid intermediates between 0% and 100% pass and are the best solution from an economic perspective. This in essence is then a call to consider LLP policies that have a realistic LLP tolerance level distinct from zero. These results also show, that this is a manageable issue particularly if countries address the issue not only of the LLP tolerance level, but also building trust in other countries’ regulations including exporter, and contribute to reducing approval delays and/or the cost of compliance with this and other regulations. 

    Reference

    Gruere, G. 2011. Asynchronous Approvals of GM Products and the Codex Annex: What Low Level Presence Policy for Vietnam?. International Food and Agricultural Trade Council Discussion Paper.

     

     

    Case study on soybean imports in Vietnam – Low Level Presence of Genetically Modified Crops

    Tags

    , , , , , , , ,

    Based on our presentation on behalf of IFPRI at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Technical Conference on the Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade held March 20-21, 2014 in Rome, Italy and based on responses from different stakeholders, we felt necessary to share not only the presentation but also our comments to the slides and additional information about the presentation.

    Slide10

    Let me examine a specific example done by Gruere in 2011 for the case of Vietnam. This is an example of a country with some interesting regulatory developments and options for further review. Gruere considered different tolerance levels, probability of rejection, cost of compliance and other sensible assumptions to measure the impact on economic welfare as defined previously in my talk.

    Blue column represents a 0% tolerance level, maroon a 1% and green a 5%. Gruere in his paper considered other tolerance levels and assumptions in the model.In average, across different simulations and assumptions, a 0% tolerance level costs Vietnam 18 million US$, a 1% 4.1 million and 5% 0.5 million US$.

    From the standpoint of a regulator/decision maker relevant questions could be:

    • Whether maintaining a 0% tolerance, costing $14 million more that a 1% level still realistic ?
    • Is the 0% level worth roughly 17+ million US$ more than the 5% level for the country?

    Important to underscore that the product has been approved in one or more countries, and this may be an issue of confidence and/or information availability about the product in question and it is a trade issue.

    Reference

    Gruere, G. 2011. Asynchronous Approvals of GM Products and the Codex Annex: What Low Level Presence Policy for Vietnam?. International Food and Agricultural Trade Council Discussion Paper.

    Limitations to studies on the impact of LLP – Low Level Presence of Genetically Modified Crops

    Tags

    , , , , ,

    Based on our presentation on behalf of IFPRI at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Technical Conference on the Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade held March 20-21, 2014 in Rome, Italy and based on responses from different stakeholders, we felt necessary to share not only the presentation but also our comments to the slides and additional information about the presentation.

    Slide9As I have started explaining earlier, studies conducted on the impact of LLP policies deal with a quite complex issue that requires extensive data for impacts. This task is complicated by data issues, in particular having reliable data on prices, trade volumes, shares and of testing costs is a limiting factor.

    Research done in this area tends to use relatively -and at the same time deceptively- simple models and use multiple assumptions about data and model structure. This is born out of necessity as the need exists not only to identify the potential outcome, but also to define how relevant variables may influence the impact outcome. Extensive sensitivity analysis are routinely conducted to examine the potential variability in outcomes and how sensitive results are to assumptions.

    LLPs and Key decision parameters and qualitative implications – Low Level Presence of Genetically Modified Crops

    Tags

    , , , , ,

    Based on our presentation on behalf of IFPRI at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Technical Conference on the Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade held March 20-21, 2014 in Rome, Italy and based on responses from different stakeholders, we felt necessary to share not only the presentation but also our comments to the slides and additional information about the presentation.

    Slide8

    Our research and that conducted by others, has identified three issues of particular interest for the design of policy options. These include the tolerance level, approval delays and confidence on regulations particularly exporter regulations. As I have indicated previously, these are not the only issues that have an impact on economic welfare, these are the ones our research has identified as critical.

    We can examine the likely qualitative impact of key decision parameters on economic welfare. For example, an increase in the tolerance level decreases costs whereas approval delays tend to increase costs of implementation.

    In most cases, the best outcomes tend to occur with high confidence on regulations and with low delays. Yet, determining a tolerance level depends on the tradeoffs involved between costs of implementation and relative risks. Asking the questions in terms of tradeoff can help competent authorities pursue realistic and/or implementable policy options.

     

    Relevant issues for choosing LLP policy options – Low Level Presence of Genetically Modified Crops

    Tags

    , , , , ,

    Based on our presentation on behalf of IFPRI at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Technical Conference on the Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade held March 20-21, 2014 in Rome, Italy and based on responses from different stakeholders, we felt necessary to share not only the presentation but also our comments to the slides and additional information about the presentation.

     

    Slide7

    These three variables in turn can be determined in turn by different issues. For example the impact of price on economic welfare may be affected by the probability of rejection and the timing of approvals. In turn, risk may be affected by the trust in exporter regulations and the type of product. Cost of compliance can be affected by the tolerance level and the enforcement capacity.

    Note that these issues may have different impacts of economic welfare in different countries.

    LLP Policy Options – Low Level Presence of Genetically Modified Crops

    Tags

    , , , , ,

    Based on our presentation on behalf of IFPRI at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Technical Conference on the Low Levels of Genetically Modified Crops in International Food and Feed Trade held March 20-21, 2014 in Rome, Italy and based on responses from different stakeholders, we felt necessary to share not only the presentation but also our comments to the slides and additional information about the presentation.

     

    Slide6

    To move forward one has to examine different policy options, their consequences and the variables that affect different policy outcomes. In our work while examining the impact of LLPs and other regulatory issues, we have focused our analysis measurements of the impact of polity options on economic welfare. Defined in most cases in terms of prices, quantities demanded/supplied/traded and the distribution of gains/losses amongst market players.

    As we will see later, we have used a fairly standard economic focus, in part due to lack of data for key issues and have used relatively –yet deceptively – simple economic models. Notwithstanding these issues and limitations, this work has explored different methods and research validation approaches to ensure data robustness.

    In the specific case of LLPs we have identified three distinct issues that can be relevant to identifying polity options. These are not the only issues that may be considered, these are the ones we have identified as more relevant.

    These are the potential risk and price of the product and the cost of enforcing the regulation.

    My presentation at Georegtown University on biotechnology and developing countries

    Tags

    , , , , , ,

    This is my presentation at Georgetown University today March 31, 2014 on B”Biotechnology and Developing Countries”.

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 815 other followers