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The European Commission

Directorate-General for Agriculture

Economic Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops on the Agri-Food Sector





1. Areas sown to GM crops in the world : fast but uneven developments

1.1. Development of GM crops: a global picture

1.2. GM crops grown on a commercial basis: input-oriented

1.2.1. Soybeans
1.2.2. Corn 
1.2.3. Cotton 
1.2.4. Rapeseed 
1.2.5. Potatoes
1.2.6. Tobacco
1.3. In the pipeline: quality/output traits crops
2. Biotech companies: a supply-oriented strategy
2.1. From start-ups to global "life sciences" companies
2.1.1. 1983-1994: the Pioneers
2.1.2. 1994-1998: Consolidation across the board
2.1.3. 1998- ? Preparing for adding value
2.2. Biotechnology has increased concentration throughout the agri-food sector
2.2.1. Crop protection was already a highly concentrated sector
2.2.2. With biotech, concentration has spread to the seed market
2.2.3. Various strategies: from input to output-oriented
2.3. Consequences for farmers: increased dependency
3. Farmers: strong profitability expectations, mixed outcome
3.1. Adoption of biotechnology by farmers: strong expectations
3.1.1. Profitability expectations mainly based on yields
3.1.2. The effect of agricultural policy: limiting price risk
3.1.3. Comparing the profitability of GM and non-GM crops proves difficult On the cost side: the input-effect of GM crops On the receipt side: yields and prices
3.2. Costs and benefits for farmers for selected GM crops
3.2.1. Herbicide Tolerant Soybeans Lower yields Reduced herbicide use and costs Convenience effect Increased seed price No significant profitability effect?
3.2.2. Bt corn Evidence on yield gains No clear savings in input costs Refuges imply two-tiers crop management Increased seed price Contrasted results on profitability
3.2.3. Herbicide Tolerant Canola Contrasted results on yields A convenience effect Unclear results on costs and profitability
3.3. Mixed outcome, many factors, longer-term assessment needed
4. Consumers, retailers: cascading effects
4.1. Consumers: moving fast
4.1.1. Mobilisation campaigns
4.1.2. Evolving Public Opinions
4.2. Retailing industry: following and shaping the demand
4.2.1. Amplifying consumer preferences
4.2.2. Types of supermarket actions
5. Markets: Segregation, Identity Preservation and Labelling
5.1. Key features of agricultural trade systems
5.1.1. Commodity System
5.1.2. Segregation
5.1.3. Identity Preservation Systems
5.1.4. Some specific issues of Identity Preservation Systems
5.2. Identity Preservation and labelling in the context of GM crops
5.2.1. Reasons to consider IP systems in the context of GMOs
5.2.2. EU legislation concerning GMOs, in particular labelling
5.2.3. Three approaches to labelling and Identity Preservation in
        the GMO context
5.3. Costs of Identity Preservation in the GMO context
5.3.1. IP costs for seed production
5.3.2. IP costs on the farm
5.3.3. Costs for testing
5.3.4. IP costs for transportation and further storage
5.3.5. Additional Costs for the processing industry (feed and food)
5.3.6. Total costs for IP systems
5.4. Distribution of costs along the production chain - who pays for IP?

5.5. Market implications

5.5.1. EU markets for soybeans and corn
5.5.2. Market supply to serve potential EU non-GMO demand
5.5.3. Different stance on food and feed uses
5.6. The trade issue/dimension




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