Growing number of genetically modified crops worldwide could disrupt international trade

The number of commercialised genetically modified (GM) crops in the world is foreseen to multiply by four from about 30 today to over 120 in 2015. This is the forecast presented in the report "The global pipeline of new GM crops: implications of asynchronous approval for international trade", recently published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). It compiles a list of new GM crops to be commercialised and analyses their possible impact on international trade. Their increasing number may cause trade disruptions due to their asynchronous approval.

This report presents the results of an international workshop organised by the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) and summarises the different views expressed by the participants. The seminar brought together national regulators, industry representatives, research institutes and participants from the agri-food supply chain.

Participants concluded that the increasing number of new GM crops will intensify the effects of asynchronous approval (different countries do not approve GMOs at the same time) and isolated foreign approval (GM crops are authorised by just one country). Therefore, the likelihood of crop shipments being rejected at the EU border because of low-level presence (LLP) of unapproved GMOs could become considerably higher in future, causing trade disruptions at the international level.

Source: JRC