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Food Policy
Vol. 41, No. xx, 2013; Pages: 166–176

On the asynchronous approvals of GM crops: Potential market impacts of a trade disruption of EU soy imports

Martin Henselera, b, Isabelle Piot-Lepetitb, c, Emanuele Ferrarib, d, Aida Gonzalez Melladob, Martin Bansea, Harald Grethee, Claudia Parisib, Sophie Hélaineb

Thünen Institute of Rural Studies, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany.


Due to their high protein content, soybeans are important feedstuffs in the European Union (EU). However, the cultivation of soybeans using genetically modified (GM) varieties in non-EU countries is increasing and the EU authorization of GM products takes longer than in other countries, leading to an asynchronous approval between the EU and non-EU countries that might induce soybean trade disruptions. This paper uses an integrated modelling system to simulate Argentina, Brazil and the United States ending soybean exports to the EU. The impact on world trade and on the EU import prices of soy products is analysed with a computable general equilibrium model. EU soy imports are shown to decline, and the import price of soybeans in the EU increases. The effects on EU agricultural markets are analysed based on a partial equilibrium model. Feed costs in the EU are found to increase with poultry and pork the most affected: production and exports decline and imports increase. However, the effects of a trade ban are found to be less profound than in many other studies due to compensating substitution effects at various market levels: increasing imports from third countries, increasing domestic oilseed production and the use of other protein feeds.

Keywords:Asynchronous approval; Zero tolerance; Trade disruption; CGE model; GTAP-AGR; PE model; ESIM; Genetically modified crops; Soybeans.

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