Crops developed through biotechnology must undergo regulatory approval to ensure their environmental, food and feed safety before they are commercially introduced in the marketplace. This regulatory process necessarily lengthens the time required to bring such new crops to market. Insofar as this delay is necessary to ensure their safety it is regarded as worthwhile. Efficiency is crucial, though; there are many possible ways that the regulatory review process can be structured. If the approval process goes on longer than necessary to ensure safety with reasonable scientific certainty, the opportunity cost of delaying or altogether missing out innovation can mount. Kalaitzandonakes, Zahringer and Kruse analyze such potential economic impacts in EMAC’s working paper 2015-1. (more…)
On November 4th voters in Colorado rejected a ballot initiative that would have required special labels for foods made with genetically modified (GM) ingredients. As The Economistwent to press, voters in Oregon seemed likely to say no to a similar proposal there, though the count was not complete. Regardless of the outcome, however, the referendums indicate the strength of feeling generated by GM crops: the Oregon vote was the costliest ballot in the state’s history.
Despite all the media chatter over which party controls the Senate, as Jonathan Chait has pointed out, the Republican victory will probably just lead to more gridlock. That is, the do-nothing government will do nothing more intensely.
But if you are interested in food and farming, some of the midterm election results do matter. There were several key legislative seats hanging in the balance, and interesting ballot measures on GMOs and soda taxes. Here’s a rundown.
“The folks at Monsanto will be eagerly watching election results in several states Tuesday as the battle rages on over how we treat genetically modified foods.
The Creve Coeur-based agriculture giant, along with several other high-profile leaders of the food industry, is spending millions of dollars in Oregon and Colorado, where voters are deciding if labels should be required on foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. And in Hawaii’s Maui County — where the company has important research facilities — a measure would ban the growing of GMOs.”