Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics (September 2011)


Comments: Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics. Copyright © [2011] Board of Regents, University of Nebraska.


Discussions on the appropriate regulatory norms for biotech or genetically modified (GM) foods date back to the early 1980s. Twenty-five years later, a consensus on what such norms should be remains elusive. While the safety of GM foods prior to their commercialization is evaluated through, more or less, the same methods around the world, countries differ widely on their treatment of GM foods that have been deemed safe for market introduction. Some countries, including the United States and Canada consider these GM foods substantially equivalent to their conventional counterparts, and do not require segregation and labeling of these products. Others, including the European Union (EU), Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and China have introduced mandatory labeling regimes.