The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)


Concentrate, Regulation, and Maize Biotech Research: An International Perspective


David Schimmelphennig, Carl Pray, Ann Courtmanche, Rutgers University of New Jersey





Maize is the crop that has received more attention from biotechnology researchers than any other crop. Maize made up 37% of field trials of genetically engineered crops in the U.S. and Canada and 36% of field trials in developing countries (Courtmanche, Pray, and Brennan 1999). Worldwide, Bt, herbicide tolerant, and stacked Bt/herbicide tolerant maize covered 11 million ha in 1999 – more than any genetically engineered crop except soybeans. Almost all of the maize sold commercially and most of the field trials are conducted by a few major life science companies which have their major maize research programs in the U.S. This raises a number of questions for policy makers. Does participation of the life science companies stifle research and close out the possibility of competition by local firms? Does public sector maize research encourage or discourage private research by Life Science companies and or local companies? Does costly regulation create concentration??!!!!! Have the recent debates on biosafety started to reduce the amount of corn research or the participants in corn research. To attempt to answer these questions we have formulated a model of private R&D as follows:


We then estimate this model using time-series, cross sectional data on maize field trials from 1990 to 1999 in 13 countries of which two are developing countries.

Our preliminary findings are:????

  1. Life science companies have not reduced total R&D and may have stimulated local R&D?????
  2. Public sector maize research has induced more private research?????
  3. Countries in which it is more expensive to work through the regulatory process will have more concentration of research by life science companies???? (This would be interesting to test….I will have to call some people at Monsanto and see if we could get something)
  4. Biosafety concerns so far have not reduced research??????



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