Policymakers recognise the links between innovation, growth and employment. However, novelty often bears uncertainty in Europe, where an increasingly risk-averse mind-set could threaten innovation, writes Dirk Hudig.
The European Commission proposed new rules in September regarding the presence of genetically modified pollen in honey. The new proposals consider that pollen in honey is a 'natural constituent', thereby contradicting a previous ruling by the European Court of Justice from September 2011 that considered it an 'ingredient', writes John Davison.
An interview by EURACTIV with Anne Glover, European Commission chief scientific adviser, on GMO crops triggered a response on EURACTIV.fr last week (27 July) from French MEP Corinne Lepage. Lepage says Glover was "wrong" to state there was "no more risk in eating GMO food than eating conventionally farmed food."
French President François Hollande will face judicial problems over the ban on the cultivation of genetically modified plants, and this has widespread implications for science-based risk assessment in the EU, argue Marcel Kuntz, John Davison and Agnès E. Ricroch.
The recent allegations surrounding GM crops are hypocritical and drive the political discussion in the wrong direction, writes Sebastian Olényi, a PhD researcher and freelance journalist specialising in science communication, environmental sciences and biotechnology.
Supposedly objective scientific and economic assessments of the benefits of genetically modified crops are often biased by the fact they are funded by the very organisations they analyse, argues Wenonah Hauter.
The EU has rightly identified innovation and science as major drivers for economic growth, but the European Commission should not attempt a ''politically bruising'' legislative review of genetically-modified (GM) approvals as it would only disadvantage farmers and hurt EU competitiveness, writes Martin Livermore, founder of public affairs consultancy Ascham Associates and director of the Scientific Alliance.
The world's 6.5 billion inhabitants can only be fed with the help of genetically modified crops, according to the father of the "green revolution" Norman Borlaug, quoted by political advisor and author Paul Driessen in an April editorial for Institut économique Molinari.
According to a report released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), global biotech crop area continues to soar in 2005, after decade of commercialisation.
Using plants as plants
Companies that make chemicals have been searching for new sources of growth over the past decade. The quest has prompted some chemical conglomerates to spin off their traditional chemical businesses, such as commodity and specialty chemicals, …