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Global Food Trade and the Costs of Non‐Adoption of Genetic Engineering

New AAEA member research released in AJAE

According to Reuters, earlier this year, China approved three new GE corn and soy varieties for domestic production – these were the first Chinese approvals for domestic production in over a decade. Whereas last year, Argentina became the first country to approve drought-resistant GE wheat

In the new article “Global Food Trade and the Costs of Non-Adoption of Genetic Engineering" Kjersti Nes, K. Aleks Schaefer from Michigan State University, and Daniel Scheitrum from the University of Arizona,  seek to quantify the impacts of approval and non-approval of genetically engineered (GE) foods on food prices and access to food from abroad in importing countires.

The authors state, “Different governance systems for genetically engineered food have led to a bifurcated international food trade network. This leads to lower import volumes and 6% higher food prices for non-adopters compared to countries that adopt genetic engineering technology. This is especially important for the world's poorest countries, many of which are import-reliant for food. Many of these countries are yet to enter the world of genetic engineering in agriculture.”

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ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

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