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Article

Economic and Environmental Consequences of the ECJ Genome Editing Judgment in Agriculture

1
Institute of Farm Economics, Thünen Institute, Bundesallee 63, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
2
Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Mauerstraße 39–42, 10117 Berlin, Germany
3
International Agricultural Trade and Development Group, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Hannoversche Straße 27, 10115 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dennis Eriksson, Ruud A. De Maagd, Angelo Santino and Thorben Sprink
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1212; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061212
Received: 15 May 2021 / Revised: 7 June 2021 / Accepted: 12 June 2021 / Published: 15 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Genome Editing for Plant Breeding)
Genome-edited crops are on the verge of being placed on the market and their agricultural and food products will thus be internationally traded soon. National regulations, however, diverge regarding the classification of genome-edited crops. Major countries such as the US and Brazil do not specifically regulate genome-edited crops, while in the European Union, they fall under GMO legislation, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). As it is in some cases impossible to analytically distinguish between products from genome-edited plants and those from non-genome-edited plants, EU importers may fear the risk of violating EU legislation. They may choose not to import any agricultural and food products based on crops for which genome-edited varieties are available. Therefore, crop products of which the EU is currently a net importer would become more expensive in the EU, and production would intensify. Furthermore, an intense substitution of products covered and not covered by genome editing would occur in consumption, production, and trade. We analyzed the effects of such a cease of EU imports for cereals and soy in the EU agricultural sector with the comparative static agricultural sector equilibrium model CAPRI. Our results indicate dramatic effects on agricultural and food prices as well as on farm income. The intensification of EU agriculture may result in negative net environmental effects in the EU as well as in an increase in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This suggests that trade effects should be considered when developing domestic regulation for genome-edited crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: genome editing; CRISPR/Cas; asynchronous regulation; trade distortion; economic modelling; partial equilibrium; economic and environmental impact assessment genome editing; CRISPR/Cas; asynchronous regulation; trade distortion; economic modelling; partial equilibrium; economic and environmental impact assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gocht, A.; Consmüller, N.; Thom, F.; Grethe, H. Economic and Environmental Consequences of the ECJ Genome Editing Judgment in Agriculture. Agronomy 2021, 11, 1212. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061212

AMA Style

Gocht A, Consmüller N, Thom F, Grethe H. Economic and Environmental Consequences of the ECJ Genome Editing Judgment in Agriculture. Agronomy. 2021; 11(6):1212. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061212

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gocht, Alexander, Nicola Consmüller, Ferike Thom, and Harald Grethe. 2021. "Economic and Environmental Consequences of the ECJ Genome Editing Judgment in Agriculture" Agronomy 11, no. 6: 1212. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061212

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