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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.


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.