Legal aspects of GMOs in supply chains


Plans for co-existence and traceability cannot be considered feasible unless legal concerns are taken into account. If GM material is found in a food shipment, how will authorities address liability? Should the supplier be charged for the mix-up, even if they cannot be proven guilty? Do punishments become more severe if consumers unknowingly end up purchasing and consuming the GM product? Co-existence and traceability can only function when these kinds of legal questions have been addressed.


One team of researchers examined contractual relationships and the obligations arising there from, starting from the production to the ultimate distribution. The chain of contracts linking the various actors may include duties exceeding the requirements of local, national, or international law. It may well happen that despite compliance with the latter the more stringent contractual rules are infringed upon. The consequences of such breaches have been analysed, with a particular eye on the role of grain traders and their share of responsibility.


This case study considers how a claim concerning cross-border contamination between genetically modified and non-GM crops (including organically grown crops) between Denmark and Germany would unfold. Report on the analysis of trans-border issues with GMOs


Julian Kinderlerer and Mike Adcock
Sheffield Institute of Biotechnological Law and Ethics (SIBLE), United Kingdom
Norma Pensel
Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA), Argentina
Victor Pelaez
Paran√° Institute of Technology (Tecpar), Brasil
Kees De Roest
Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali (CRPA), Italy
Centre de recherche sur le droit des sciences et des techniques, équipe de recherche du Centre