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Genetically modified organisms in agriculture : can regulations work?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date06/2011
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Journal number3
Volume13
Number of pages12
Pages535-546
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Genetically modified (GM) crops have been recognised to be economically beneficial to subsistence farmers and have been projected as essential tools for addressing challenges in hunger, environmental sustainability and international development. Yet the uncertainty of their effects on human health and the undesirable ecological consequences of these organisms have raised concerns on the rapid pace of their production. Regulating the release of these organisms is a critical environmental issue. The Cartagena protocol on bio-safety, the principle legal arrangement for the regulation of these organisms, has ratifications from only 157 countries and has proven to be a weak regulator. Countries like India and Brazil have seen the proliferation of unapproved stealth GM varieties which make regulation even more difficult. In this paper, we explore the debate surrounding the introduction of GM organisms and analyse the effectiveness of existing legal regimes to regulate their use.