Biotechnology and the Development of Food Markets: Retrospect and Prospects

GianCarlo Moschini
August 2008  [08-WP 477]

Biotechnology has had an important impact on the agricultural and food industries over the last twelve years by way of fast and extensive adoption of a few genetically modified (GM) crops. This has produced large efficiency gains, including higher yields and reduced costs of weed and pest control, as well as some environmental benefits. The expected development of crops with additional agronomic traits, and with output traits to improve the nutrition and health attributes of food products, holds the potential for even more pervasive impacts. Full realisation of such promises may require overcoming the constraining effects of restrictive GM product regulations.

Keywords: biotechnology, genetically modified products, innovation, regulation, research and development.

JEL classification: Q16, Q18, O33, L51.

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