Government Regulation and Public Opposition Create High Additional Costs for Field Trials with GM Crops in Switzerland

Transgenic Research 20/6: 1227–1234, 2011

Posted: 14 Dec 2017

Date Written: January 30, 2011

Abstract

Field trials with GM crops are not only plant science experiments. They are also social experiments concerning the implications of government imposed regulatory constraints and public opposition for scientific activity. We assess these implications by estimating additional costs due to government regulation and public opposition in a recent set of field trials in Switzerland. We find that for every Euro spent on research, an additional 78 cents were spent on security, an additional 31 cents on biosafety, and an additional 17 cents on government regulatory supervision. Hence the total additional spending due to government regulation and public opposition was around 1.26 Euros for every Euro spent on the research per se. These estimates are conservative; they do not include additional costs that are hard to monetize (e.g. stakeholder information and dialogue activities, involvement of various government agencies). We conclude that further field experiments with GM crops in Switzerland are unlikely unless protected sites are set up to reduce these additional costs.

Keywords: Genetically Modified Plants, Field Trials, Costs Regulation, Public Opposition

Suggested Citation

Bernauer, Thomas and Tribaldos, Theresa and Luginbühl, Carolin and Winzeler, Michael, Government Regulation and Public Opposition Create High Additional Costs for Field Trials with GM Crops in Switzerland (January 30, 2011). Transgenic Research 20/6: 1227–1234, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3085799

Thomas Bernauer (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich ( email )

Center for Comparative and International Studies
Building IFW, office 45.1, Haldeneggsteig 4
Zurich 8092, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 6466 (Phone)
+41 44 632 1289 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ib.ethz.ch

Theresa Tribaldos

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Carolin Luginbühl

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Michael Winzeler

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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