How Low Can You Go: The Consequences of Zero Tolerance

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How Low Can You Go: The Consequences of Zero Tolerance. Jill E . Hobbs, William A. Kerr and Stuart J. Smyth Department of Bioresource Policy, Business & Economics University of Saskatchewan, Canada - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Food Safety and Quality Verification: Governance and Consumer Issues

How Low Can You Go: The Consequences of Zero ToleranceJill E. Hobbs, William A. Kerr and Stuart J. SmythDepartment of Bioresource Policy, Business & EconomicsUniversity of Saskatchewan, Canada

Presented at the 16th ICABR Conference/128th EAAE Seminar: The Political Economy of the Bioeconomy: Biotehnology and Biofuel, Ravello, Italy, June 20121

Several years ago in Scotland Tolerance levels exist for many undesirable attributes..insect fragments, stones, chemical residues, weed seeds, livestock antibioticsBut far less consensus for GM materialAdoption of Zero Tolerance approach: International trade tensionsUncertainty and complexity in supply chainsContradictory role of science

3OutlineEconomic model of co-minglingRole of science and the emergence of zero toleranceTwo case studies:Canadian GM Flax in EUECJ ruling on pollen as a foodWhat is the socially optimal level of co-mingling?Where marginal costs of allowing non-zero co-mingling equal the marginal benefitsTrade-off between the potential impact costs of unapproved GM varieties entering food supply chain Vs the mitigation costs from reducing the threat of co-minglingThe socially optimal level of co-minglingImpact costs (UU):Risk (uncertainty) unforeseen human health and environmental consequencesReduction in consumer choiceMitigation costs (MM):Supply chain identity preservation & segregationTesting, certification, monitoringOpportunity costs of foregone marketsRemedial measures re: cross-contaminationThe socially optimal level of co-minglingCostLevel of co-mingling0%100%The socially optimal level of co-minglingCostLevel of co-mingling0%100%UUThe socially optimal level of co-minglingCostLevel of co-mingling0%100%MMUUThe socially optimal level of co-minglingCostLevel of co-mingling0%100%MMUUTTThe socially optimal level of co-minglingCostLevel of co-mingling0%100%MMUUTTCM1XYZThe socially optimal level of co-minglingCostLevel of co-mingling0%100%MMUUTTCM2CM1XYZThe socially optimal level of co-minglingCostLevel of co-mingling0%100%CM*MMUUTTCM2CM1XYZFrom moratorium to co-existenceEU moratorium on approval and importation of GM crops: 1999-20032004: Member states instructed to develop frameworks for co-existenceHow was low level or adventitious presence handled?Incidents resolved without suspension of international tradeMinimal political interferenceExamples2000, Canadian canola shipment to Europe 0.4% unapproved GM traitsCrop destroyed (France, UK) or harvested but prohibited from entering market (Sweden)2002, UK. Impurities in canola seed for seed trials. Co-mingling 2.8%Crop harvested and seed destroyed2003, Trace amounts GM canola detected in Canadian mustard exports to EU.Apparently little reaction. No information on what EU importers did with mustard shipment

Emergence of zero toleranceEU Directive 2001/18 establishes zero tolerance2006, US rice exports to EU. Trace amounts of unapproved GM (LL601 rice). EU bans imports of US rice. Currently