Proceedings

PR – To Commercialize Or Not To Commercialize Genetically Modified Crops In The Eu Environment

Purpose – The paper analyzes the decision-making process on whether or not to commercialize genetically modified (GM) crops in the current EU environment, for several agriculture industry sectors. This cross-industry analysis provides us insights in the (future) market dynamics of GM crop (applications) in the EU environment.
Methods – Agribusiness stakeholders of six agricultural industry sectors were interviewed on their GM policy, using a semi-structured interview guide. This data were analyzed by content analysis.
Principal results – The cross-industry analysis on GM policies between companies belonging to the same and to different agriculture industry sectors, unveils several alignments of common central arguments in their decision-making processes that precede this actual GM business policy. Accordingly, three strong hypothetical policy congruities were identified, between (1) the agricultural biotechnology and compound feed industry, who’s policies are motivated by their conviction that GM imports are a by-default reality in the EU, (2) between NGO’s and the organic industry, who’s policy is driven by their pursued agricultural ideals (that oppose both to the current (globalizing) agricultural system and to GM crops as they reinforce this system), and (3) between all the food actors, who’s GM business policy is primarily motivated from a (black-or-white) marketing consideration. Finally, our insights (1) highlight the “talking at cross-purposes” in the GM debate between different agriculture industry sectors, and (2) unveil several underlying reasons for the locked-in situation with GM crops in the current EU environment.

Keywords: business perspectives, agribusiness, genetically modified crop, EU environment

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Author(s): Dessein, J., Inghelbrecht, L., Van Huylenbroeck, G.

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Organizations(s): Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Social Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research