Molecular Breeding

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 99–112 | Cite as

Calling the tunes on transgenic crops: the case for regulatory harmony

  • Koreen Ramessar
  • Teresa Capell
  • Richard M. Twyman
  • Hector Quemada
  • Paul Christou


Genetically modified (GM) crops are now grown commercially in 23 countries, with another 29 granting approval for import and release into the environment. Despite the socio-economic and environmental benefits of the technology, further development is being hampered by differences in national regulatory frameworks relating to research, biosafety, and to the trade and use of GM crops. The biosafety regulations in different countries are based on five main international instruments that influence the development of national biosafety systems in terms of field trial permit requirements, risk assessment criteria, labeling, traceability, transparency, public awareness, post-monitoring and import regulations. The global harmonization of data collection, testing procedures and information exchange would help to remove artificial trade barriers, expedite the adoption of GM crops, foster technology transfer and protect developing countries from exploitation, instilling confidence and bringing the benefits of GM products to the consumer.


GM crops Transgenic plants Regulatory process Precautionary approach Risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koreen Ramessar
    • 1
  • Teresa Capell
    • 1
  • Richard M. Twyman
    • 2
  • Hector Quemada
    • 3
  • Paul Christou
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Departament de Produccio Vegetal I Ciencia ForestalUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkHeslington, YorkUK
  3. 3.Department of BiologyCalvin CollegeGrand RapidsUSA
  4. 4.Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis AvancatsBarcelonaSpain

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