The issue of public sector investments in GM crop and other organisms’ R&D is one issue that is clearly extremely important for public policy in developing countries and those interested in investing in R&D that will be of value to developing countries. We have seen the investments done in multiple developing countries not only on GM techniques but other biotechnology areas and in different crops and organisms, as well as, plant and animal breeding, conservation and other multiple areas of science and technology. Many done by the public sector and/or national private sector organizations (see list of papers below).
In the Next Harvest project, we identified that by 2001-2002, there were 209 events in what could be considered advanced regulatory stage in 16 developing countries. Much of these are events of interest to developing countries. In the paper done with Jikun Huang and colleagues from CCAP China, we documented that by 1999-2000 there were 51 cases approved for environmental release and 26 ready for commercialization approval.
Countries have invested in biotechnology and other sciences, yet we have observed only two countries with GM plants being approved for commercial release developed by the public sector, being India and China. There seem to be some public sector releases in Cuba, I will have to check exact nature of those releases.
Because of this fact alone, we have to consider all the implication from introducing regulations, and that certainly includes the cost of compliance with biosafety regulations. Unfeasible or unnecessarily rigid regulations will increase the cost of compliance and introduce a lot of uncertainty for developers especially those in the public sector, national private sector and even those activities financed by producers themselves. These groups are the ones that are most likely to invest in R&D in those crops and traits of interest to developing countries.
References for Biotechnology and Plant Breeding Capacity
1. Huang, J., R. Hu, Q.Wang, J. Keely and J. B. Falck-Zepeda. “Agricultural Biotechnology Development Policy and Impact in China” 2002. Economic and Political Weekly. July 2002. Pp. 2756-2761.
2. Cohen, J., J. Komen, and J. Falck Zepeda. “National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Capacity in Developing Countries” 2004. FAO ESA Working Paper No. 04-14. Contributing paper to FAO State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2004.
3. Trigo, E. J. Falck-Zepeda, and C. Falconi. 2010. Biotecnología Agropecuaria para el Desarrollo en América Latina: Oportunidades y Retos. Documento de Trabajo LAC/01/10, Programa de Cooperación, FAO/Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Servicio para América Latina y el Caribe, División del Centro de Inversiones.
4. Trigo, Eduardo; Falck-Zepeda, José; Falconi, César; Villarreal, Federico.Estado de la biotecnología agropecuaria en Argentina” 2007. Working Papers Series Washington, D.C. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Rural Development Unit, Sustainable Development Dept.
5. Trigo, Eduardo; Falck-Zepeda,José; Falconi, César; Villarreal, Federico. “Estado de la biotecnología agropecuaria en Chile.” 2007. Working Papers Series Washington, D.C. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Rural Development Unit, Sustainable Development Dept.
6. Trigo, Eduardo; Falck-Zepeda,José; Falconi, César; Villarreal, Federico. “Estado de la biotecnología agropecuaria en Uruguay.” 2007. Working Papers Series Washington, D.C. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Rural Development Unit, Sustainable Development Dept.
7. Falck-Zepeda, José; Zambrano, Patricia; Cohen, Joel I.; Borges, Orangel; Guimarães, Elcio P.; Hautea, Desiree; Kengue, Joseph; Songa, Josephine. “Plant genetic resources for agriculture, plant breeding, and biotechnology: Experiences from Cameroon, Kenya, the Philippines, and Venezuela.” 2008. IFPRI Discussion Paper 762. Washington, D.C. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). http://www.ifpri.org/pubs/dp/ifpridp00762.asp
8. Falck-Zepeda, Jose´ Benjamin; Falconi, Cesar; Sampaio-Amstalden, Maria José; Solleiro Rebolledo, José Luis; Trigo, Eduardo; Verástegui, Javier. La biotecnología agropecuaria en América Latina: Una visión cuantitativa. 2009. IFPRI Discussion Paper 860SP. Washington, D.C. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ifpridp00860sp.pdf
9. Atanassov, A., A. Bahieldin, J. Brink, M. Burachik, J. I. Cohen, V. Dhawan, R. V. Ebora, J. Falck-Zepeda, L. Herrera-Estrella, J. Komen, F. C. Low, E. Omaliko, B. Odhiambo, H. Quemada, Y. Peng, M. J. Sampaio, I. Sithole-Niang, A. Sittenfeld, M. Smale, Sutrisno, R. Valyasevi, Y. Zafar, and P. Zambrano. “To Reach The Poor: Results from the ISNAR-IFPRI Next Harvest Study on Genetically Modified Crops, Public Research, and Policy Implications.” 2004. EPTD Discussion Paper 116. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute