Institutions and the R&D of GM-crops Kvakkestad, Valborg

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Kvakkestad, Valborg
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Ecological Economics
Genetically modified organisms; Food supply; Food -- Safety and security measures
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: Byline: Valborg Kvakkestad Keywords: GM-crops; Technology; Institutional shaping Abstract: This paper analyzes how different institutional structures shape the research and development (R&D) of genetically modified crops (GM-crops). Whether this R&D is conducted within companies, cooperatives or public research organizations (both publicly and privately funded R&D) is expected to influence the type of crops and traits that are developed and therefore the effects on society and ecosystems that potentially could follow from the use of GM-crops. This issue is analyzed empirically by statistical analysis of 1323 notifications for field trials with GM-crops that have been submitted under two EU Directives in seven European countries. The results show that the type of R&D organization influences the traits and crops that are developed. Companies are more likely to submit notifications that concern GM-crops that secure the potential for profit than are other types of R&D organizations, while R&D organizations that are purely publicly funded are more likely to submit notifications that only concern biosafety research than are cooperatives and companies. Consideration of the environment, food safety and food security might justify institutional reforms of R&D of GM-crops. This might include increased public funding combined with changes in intellectual property rights. Author Affiliation: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Economics and Resource Management, NO-1432 Aas, Norway Article History: Received 8 October 2008; Revised 3 April 2009; Accepted 6 May 2009
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