The US National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council has nominated Jose Falck-Zepeda to be part of the Committee “Genetically Engineered Crops: Past Experience and Future Prospects”. This committee will elaborate a National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council (NRC) report which will likely be used in several policy discussions with a broad readership at the global level. The nomination will be formally declared complete after a 20 day review and public commentary. The NAS-NRC Committee will meet publicly September 15-16 in Washington DC. For more information about the Committee and its membership please visit the following site NAS NRC Committee
Advances in plant genomics in the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in the commercialization of genetically modified crops 20 years ago. The adoption, production and international trade of GM crops created unprecedented levels of debate and dialogue about modern society’s relationship with its food and how it is produced. While some within the agricultural biotechnology community predicted that these discussions would quickly fade away, concerns, outrages, myths and mis-information continue to abound. An attempt to provide some needed clarity to this discourse will shortly be available in the new Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development. Through the collaborative efforts of 50 international experts, the editors provide a diverse, but concentrated, global perspective on biotechnology applications to plant agriculture.
Editor’s Introduction: Conceptual Framing of the IAD framework and Methods, Models and Metrics
1. Introduction to Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development
Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle
PART I: EXOGENOUS VARIABLES: THE ENVIRONMENT, ACTORS AND RULES
2. Global Adoption of GM Crops, 1995–2012
3. Structure of Public Research
Richard Gray and Buwani Dayananda
4. The Private Sector: MNEs and SMEs
Jill E. Hobbs
5. Biotechnology in North America: The United States, Canada and Mexico
Julia Bognar and Grace Skogstad
6. South American Adopters: Argentina and Brazil
Sybil D. Rhodes
9. Agricultural Biotechnology in India: Impacts and Controversies
10. Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, Japan and The Philippines
Karinne Ludlow and Jose Yorobe Jr.
11. European Union Policy Conflicts over Agbiotech: Ecological Modernisation Perspectives and Critiques
12. Africa Non-adopters
13. Non-adopters of GM Crops in Latin American
14. The Cuban Context for Agriculture and Innovation
Carlos G. Borroto
15. Risk Assessment Frameworks in the Multilateral Setting
Lee Ann Jackson
16. The Trade System and Biotechnology
William A. Kerr
17. Developing Countries and the Legal Institutions at the Intersection of Agbiotech and Development
18. Consumer Attitudes and Preferences for GM Products
Stuart Smyth and David Castle
19. The Motivation and Impact of Organized Public Resistance Against Agricultural Biotechnology
PART II: ACTION ARENAS
20. The Research Pipeline
21. Clusters, Innovation Systems and Biotechnology in Developing Country Agriculture
David Spielman, Douglas Zhihua Zeng and Xingliang Ma
22. Practice Driving Policy: Agbiotech Transfer as Capacity Building
William O. Hennessey, Aarushi Gupta and Stanley P. Kowalski
23. The North American Crop Biotech Environment, Actors and Rules
24. Adoption Decisions
Volker Beckmann, Claudio Soregaroli and Justus Wesseler
26. Biotechnology and the Inputs Industry
Anwar Naseem and Latha Nagarajan
27. Measuring Market Power in the US Biotech Industry
Alexandre Magnier, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes and Douglas Miller
28. The Dynamic IP System in Crop Genetics and Biotechnology
Derek Eaton and Greg Graff
29. Environment Effects
LaReesa Wolfenbarger, Yves Carrière and Micheal Owen
30. Labelling of Genetically Modified Foods
Wallace E. Huffman and Jill J. McCluskey
31. Biotechnology and Food Security
Calestous Juma, Pedro Conceição and Sebastian Levine
32. International Regimes on Plant Intellectual Property Rights and Plant Genetic Resources: Implications for Stakeholders
Deepthi Elizabeth Kolady
33. Democratic Engagement
Jennifer Medlock and Edna Einsiedel
34. Lessons from the California GM Labelling Proposition on the State of Crop Biotechnology
David Zilberman, Scott Kaplan, Eunice Kim and Gina Waterfield
35. Biotechnology Communications, Mythmaking and the Media
Camille D. Ryan
PART III: OUTCOMES
Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo and Seth Wechsler
Janet Carpenter, Marnus Gouse and Jose Yorobe Jr.
38. GM Cotton
Jeffrey Vitale, Gaspard Vognan and Marc Ouattarra
Derek Brewin and Stavroula Malla
40. The Hawaiian Papaya Story
Carol and Dennis Gonsalves
41. Sugar Beet
Koen Dillen and Matty Demont
Matty Demont, Mao Chen, Gongyin Ye and Alexander J. Stein
43. Aggregate Effects: Adopters and Non-adopters, Investors and Consumers
George Frisvold and Jeanne M. Reeves
44. Economic Success but Political Failure? The Paradox of GM Crops in Developing Countries
Terri Raney, Ademola A. Adenle and Ira Matuschke
45. The Size and Distribution of the Benefits from the Adoption of Biotech Soybean Varieties
Julian Alston, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes and John Kruse
46. GM Wheat: Status, Outlook and Implications
William W. Wilson
47. Small Grains: Barley, Oat and Rye
Syed Masood H. Rizvi and Graham J. Scoles
48. Incremental Benefits of Genetically Modified Bananas in Uganda
Enoch M. Kikulwe, Jose Falck-Zepeda and Justus Wesseler
49. Biofuels and GM Feedstocks
Alphanso Williams and William A. Kerr
50. Non-food GM Crops: Phytoremediation, Industrial Products and Pharmaceuticals
George G. Khachatourians
51. Tomatoes, Potatoes and Flax: Exploring the Cost of Lost Innovations
Camille D. Ryan and Alan McHughen
Socio-economic Considerations in Biosafety and Biotechnology Decision Making: The Cartagena Protocol and National Biosafety Frameworks
Article 26.1 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety left open the option for member countries to include in their biosafety regulatory and technology approval decision making processes the inclusion of socio-economic considerations. Countries may also decide to consider socioeconomic issues as part of their national legislation or regulations for the approval of genetically engineered technologies for deliberate release into the environment. Countries are debating if and how to implement assessment of socio-economic considerations. This paper contributes to the ongoing policy dialogue by discussing issues related to socio-economic assessment including scope, timing, inclusion modalities, methods, decision making rules and standards, and the integration of socio-economic assessments in biosafety and/or biotechnology approval processes. This paper also discusses the implications of socio-economic considerations inclusion for technology flows and public and private sector R&D. If inclusion is not done properly, it may negatively impact technology flows especially from public sector and render an unworkable biosafety system.
- Inclusion of socioeconomics considerations into decision making can have both positive and negative impacts
- Prudent for countries to evaluate the costs and benefits of socioeconomics inclusion and to reduce the impact of this additional regulatory burden
- Policy makers need to address the issue of regulatory predictability as it can introduce significant negative impacts including the possibility of introducing disincentives for R&D investments.
- If countries pursue the option of including socio-economic considerations in their decision making, then it must be done using clear decision-making rules and standards, while ensuring the biosafety system’s transparency and protectiveness
- Functional approaches include those in Brazil and Argentina. Brazil implements a sequential approach where biosafety assessment is completed by the technical committee and if an issue is raised during consultations and assessments, the approval committee can commission a socioeconomic study or assessment to a third party. Argentina has a mandatory and sequential process focused on specific socioeconomic impacts considering export competivity. Socioeconomic assessments are done after the biosafety assessment is completed and is prepared by a unit within the Ministry of Finance and Trade.
Falck-Zepeda, J.B. and P. Zambrano. 2011. Socio-economic Considerations in Biosafety and Biotechnology Decision Making: The Cartagena Protocol and National Biosafety Frameworks. Review of Policy Research. 28(2): 171-195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-1338.2011.00488.x
As I am preparing for my IFPRI’s internal performance evaluation review, I compiled a list of my 2013 publications. These publications are available at (IFPRI’s web site).
Jose Falck-Zepeda publications in 2013
Genetically modified crops in Africa – Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara. Editors: José Falck-Zepeda, Guillaume Gruere, and Idah Sithole-Niang. IFPRI Book.
IFPRI Research Monograph
Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking – Methods and implementation.Daniela Horna, Patricia Zambrano, José Falck-Zepeda, Editors.
Smyth, S. and J. Falck-Zepeda. 2013. Socio-economic Considerations and International Trade Agreements. Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy by 14(1): 18-38.
Falck-Zepeda, J. J. Wesseler and S. Smyth. The current status of the debate on socio-economic regulatory assessments. World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development. 10(4): 203-227. http://www.inderscience.com/info/ingeneral/forthcoming.php?jcode=wrstsd
Kikulwe, E. J. Falck-Zepeda, J. “If labels for GM food were present, would consumers trust them?” Insights from a consumer survey in Uganda.” Environment and Development Economics. FirstView Article pp 1-20, Published online: 16 December 2013. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9125863&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S1355770X13000636
Book and Research Monograph Chapters
1. Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Gruère, Guillaume P. and Sithole-Niang, Idah. 2013. Introduction and background. In Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara. Eds. Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Gruère, Guillaume P. and Sithole-Niang, Idah. Pp. 1-24. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
2. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia; Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Sengooba, Theresa; Kyotalimye, Miriam. 2013. Genetically modified cotton in Uganda: An ex ante evaluation. In Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara. Eds. Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Gruère, Guillaume P. and Sithole-Niang, Idah. Chapter 3 Pp. 61-97. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
3. Kikulwe, E. M., E. Birol, J. Wesseler, and J. Falck-ZepedaChapter 5. Consumer perceptions of the potential introduction of a fungal resistant banana in Uganda and policy implications. In Genetically modified crops in Africa – Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara. Editors: Jose Falck-Zepeda, Guillaume Gruere, and Idah Sithole-Niang. Chapter 4. Pp. 99-141. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
4. Falck Zepeda, J. and P. ZambranoEstimates and implications of the costs of compliance with biosafety regulations for African agriculture, Jose Falck-Zepeda and Patricia Zambrano. In Genetically modified crops in Africa – Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara. Editors: Jose Falck-Zepeda, Guillaume Gruere, and Idah Sithole-Niang. Chapter 10.
5. Gruère, Guillaume P.; Sithole-Niang, Idah and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. 2013. Conclusion. In Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara. Eds. Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Gruère, Guillaume P. and Sithole-Niang, Idah. Pp. 219-228. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
6. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. 2013. Introduction. In Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking: Methods and implementation. Eds. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. Chapter 1. Pp. 1-13. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
7. Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Horna, Daniela and Zambrano, Patricia. 2013. Research framework. In Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking: Methods and implementation. Eds. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. Chapter 2. Pp. 15-24. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
8. Zambrano, Patricia; Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Sengooba, Theresa; Komen, John and Horna, Daniela. 2013. Setting the foundation: Uncovering potential constraints on the delivery and adoption of GM cotton in Uganda. In Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking: Methods and implementation. Eds. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. Chapter 4. Pp. 47-59. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
9. Horna, Daniela; Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin and Kyotalimye, Miriam. 2013. Assessing genetically modified cotton’s economic impact on farmers. In Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking: Methods and implementation. Eds. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. Chapter 5. Pp. 61-93. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
10. Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin; Horna, Daniela and Kyotalimye, Miriam. 2013. Economic impact on the cotton sector. In Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking: Methods and implementation Eds. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. Chapter 6. Pp. 95-128. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
11. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. 2013. Conclusions and Recommendations. In Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking: Methods and implementation. Eds. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. Chapter 1. Pp. 1-13. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
12. Horna, Daniela, ed., Zambrano, Patricia, ed.,Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin, ed. Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking : Supplementary material and appendixes. In Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety decisionmaking: Methods and implementation. Eds. Horna, Daniela; Zambrano, Patricia and Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin. Appendix Pp. 153-199.
13. Roca, M.M., R. Trabanino, A. Sanders, C. Almendares, y J. Falck-Zepeda. 2013. Honduras. En Introduccion al Ambiente, del maiz trasngenico – Analisis de ocho casos en Iberoamerica. Eds. J. L. Solleiro y Rosario Castanon. AGROBIO Mexico y CamBioTec. pp. 277-338.
Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin, Gruère, Guillaume P. and Sithole-Niang, Idah. Synopsis of Genetically modified crops in Africa: Economic and policy lessons from countries south of the Sahara. 2013. IFPRI Issue Brief 80.
Horna, Daniela, P. Zambrano, and J. B. Falck-Zepeda. Synopsis of Socioeconomic considerations in biosafety descisionmaking: Methods and implementation. 2013. IFPRI Issue Brief 78.
This is the Springer editors link to our new edited book “Socio-Economic Considerations in Biotechnology Regulation” in the Series: Natural Resource Management and Policy, Vol. 37. Ludlow, Karinne; Smyth, Stuart J.; Falck-Zepeda, José (Eds.). 2014, XII, 313 p. 15 illus., 5 illus. in color.
The book “Socioeconomic considerations in Biosfafety Regulations” edited by Karinne Ludlow (Monash University), Stuart Smyth (University of Saskatchewan) and Jose Falck-Zepeda (International Food Policy Research Institute – IFPRI) will be tentatively published Spring 2014.
As shown in the book flyer: “Within the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Cartagena
Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) was established as an implementing agreement. The CPB is an international agreement establishing the rights of recipient countries to be notified of and
to approve or reject the domestic import and/or production of living modified organisms (LMOs). Decisions regarding import/production are to be on the basis of a biosafety assessment. Article 26.1 of the CPB allows for the (optional) inclusion of socio-economic considerations (SECs) into that biosafety assessment process. This book compiles expert assessments of the issues relevant to SEC assessment of LMOs and fundamental for decisions regarding whether to undertake such assessments at all. It includes an overview of the inclusion of SEC assessment in the regulation of LMOs that looks at the rationale for the inclusion of SECs, in the context of the existing science-based risk assessment systems. This book reviews the various factors that can and have been suggested for inclusion in SEC assessment, and provides a meaningful dialogue about the contrasts, benefits and tradeoffs that are, and will, be created by the potential move to the inclusion of SECs in the regulation of LMOs, making it of interest to both academics and policy-makers.”
The IFPRI book “GMO crops in Africa – Economic and policy lessons for countries South of the Sahara” edited by José Falck-Zepeda, Guillaume Gruere and Idah Sithole-Niang will be available for free at IFPRI’s site within a few weeks from now. I will let you know as soon as I have a link.
Here are some general lessons learned as described in the book:
Opportunities for African Farmers South of the Sahara
The first main lesson is that, based on available data and published studies, current GM crops have had on average a positive economic effect in African countries south of the Sahara, but the magnitude and distribution of their potential economic benefits for farmers highly depend on the crop, trait, and especially the institutional setting in which the technology is introduced.
The second main lesson is that there are insufficient efforts in public and private biotechnology development in Africa, and that one of the main constraints is related to the policy environment.
The third lesson is that evolving biosafety regulations in African countries south of the Sahara, which tend to determine the degree of deployment of GM crops in the region, appear to be based on a highly costly, European precautionary approach, despite clearly diverging agricultural and development priorities.
The fourth lesson is that the alleged short-term export risks due to potential market losses in Europe and other GM-averse countries may have been exaggerated and need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and that the upcoming challenges of market access and import regulations call for regional integration of GM trade regulations.
The last lesson is that the level of awareness of GM crops appears to be low among surveyed consumers. In addition, acknowledging this low awareness and he limitation it may confer on survey results, and the fact that only one study is included here, GM technology seems to be generally well accepted among surveyed consumers, but urban (especially high-income) consumers appear to have a lower acceptance of GM food than do rural consumers. If confirmed this low acceptance may create significant challenges on the road to commercialization of potentially promising GM crops, especially food crops and those crops developed by public-sector research.
Socioeconomic Considerations in Biosafety Decisionmaking – Methods and Implementation
Daniela Horna, Patricia Zambrano and Jose Falck-Zepeda, Editors
Despite the ongoing controversy over their use, genetically modified (GM) crops have progressively grown in popularity and are now planted in approximately 160 million hectares in 29 countries. In the discussions of biosafety regulations for GM crops and whether to approve such crops for commercialization, many countries, including some African nations, have gone beyond environmental assessments and are now introducing socioeconomic considerations as part of their decisionmaking process. There are, however, very few guidelines on how to ensure that this inclusion of socioeconomic considerations results in a robust and efficient decisionmaking process. Socioeconomic Considerations in Biosafety Decisionmaking: Methods and Implementation provides guidance to professionals involved in assessing the ex ante impact of a GM crop in the context of an approval process. Using the case of GM cotton in Uganda, the authors illustrate the evaluation of socioeconomic impact on farmers, the national economy, and trade.
The authors identify three crucial steps in making socioeconomic assessment part of a biosafety regulatory process, decisionmaking process, or both. First, select appropriate research tools and methods that yield robust results but that also take into account time and budget constraints. Second, evaluate the institutional setting of GM technology deployment. Third, allow for the uncertainties inherent in the assessment by using ranges of values for the parameters under evaluation, including yield, technology efficiency, and prices. These and other conclusions should provide useful guidance to policymakers and development researchers in countries that opt to incorporate socioeconomic considerations into their biosafety regulations, as well as their decisionmaking process for GM crop approval.