Viewpoint: Developing nations should reject Europe’s fear-based crop biotech rules to grow their economies

amflora potatoes

In a recent speaking tour in South-East Asia, I was horrified to learn how many emerging market governments in the region are simply planning to mirror their agricultural technology regulations upon European Union laws. The only thing I could say to them was: “Don’t!”

[Editor’s note: David Zaruk is an EU risk and science communications specialist.]

Asian government officials in countries like Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand see the EU as having a regulatory maturity and scientific competence….Meeting European agricultural standards, they believe, will also open up more export markets.


What they don’t see is how the EU is not at all interested in developing their agricultural sector with better technologies and innovations….Bolstered by deep pockets, Europe can afford to compensate their farmers if they (willfully) lack the tools to succeed. Many South-East Asian countries cannot.

Related article:  CRISPR-edited plants aren't GMOs—and 4 other essential facts about gene editing

Here are 10 reasons to help understand why agritech doesn’t matter in the EU and why developing countries need to develop their own, farmer-driven agricultural innovation strategy.

Europe’s long tradition of precaution lives on. When American pioneers were pushing west to conquer nature….Europeans were building walls around their cities to protect themselves from the unknown. This tradition is now regulatory doctrine: in dealing with uncertainties, if you can’t prove a technology is “safe,” it’s not welcome.


Read full, original article: Ten Reasons Why Agritech Doesn’t Matter in Europe

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