Governance strategies for responding to alarming studies on the safety of GM crops

TitleGovernance strategies for responding to alarming studies on the safety of GM crops
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMampuys, R, Brom, FWA
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Date Published2015/05/04
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number2329-9460
AbstractAlarming studies about the safety of genetically modified organisms have been appearing since the first genetically modified (GM) crops were authorised for market release. The debates about these studies have a recurring pattern with similar players, arguments and strategies. More importantly, they are open-ended because those involved cannot agree on the significance and value of these studies or the consequences that should be attached to them. The roots of these disagreements lie deeper and connect to different views on science, society, nature and food production. Usually, governments respond in a procedural manner by referring the study to their scientific advisory bodies. Thus far, they conclude that there is no reason to revoke or postpone GM crops authorisations. However, the debate continues with undiminished vigour. The current response strategies to alarming studies seem to actually worsen the status quo in the GM debate because the underlying disagreements are not addressed. Starting from the current governance structure, we investigate how European governments responded to alarming studies in the past and look into the consequences of these strategies on the course of the debate in order to identify lessons and pointers for the future.