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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.


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.


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.