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Bt/RR maize Isabela province, The Philippines. (c) J. Falck-Zepeda 2011

In a paper that I co-wrote with Jessica Bayer and George Norton (Bayer, Norton and Falck Zepeda 2010) we showed in a simple experiment that delays can have a big impact on the net benefits from four genetically engineered applications in the Philippines.

In this paper, we showed that even small delays of three years compared to the baseline can decrease significantly the present value of net benefits to producers. In turn, increases in cost of compliance had a very small effect on net benefits.

Contrary to the case study we did for the black sigatoka bananas in Uganda (see the Kikulwe et al. paper in the references), in the Philippines exercise we did not consider the potential gains from waiting and conducting more experiments and thus gain additional knowledge. The later is an important limitation for the type of exercise we conducted in the Philippines.

The value of examining potential losses from regulatory delays is connecting the cost of compliance with biosafety regulations to the potential costs and benefits derived from technology adoption.

The lesson learned here is that it is prudent for policy/regulatory and other decision makers to examine the impacts of regulations, especially from the standpoint of considering all gains, costs and risks to society as a whole. This includes, obviously, impacts at the producer, consumer and other actors is society.

References

Bayer, J.C., Norton, G.W., Falck-Zepeda, J. “Cost of compliance with biotechnology regulation in the Philippines: Implications for developing countries. 2010.  AgBioForum, 13(1), 53-62. http://www.agbioforum.org/v13n1/v13n1a04-norton.htm

Kilkuwe, Enoch; Wesseler, Justus, Falck-Zepeda, José. “Introducing a genetically modified banana in Uganda : Social benefits, costs, and consumer perceptions.” 2008. IFPRI Discussion Paper 767. Washington, D.C. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). http://www.ifpri.org/pubs/dp/ifpridp00767.asp

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