The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)
Biotechnology, GMOs, and the Organization of the Food System
Robert D. Weaver and Taeho Kim
Pennsylvania State University
This paper considers economic performance of private versus public sector GMO R&D in the food supply chain and identifies the characteristics of GMO performance that will be of interest as targets of private sector R&D. By implication, those types of GMO performance that will likely not attract private sector R&D effort will be identified as a potential realm for public sector R&D effort.
The nature and characteristics of GMO R&D under different forms of industry organization (vertical integration, contracting, licensing, etc.) are identified through simulation of the food supply chain. To place the study in specific context, GMO R&D of the following types will be considered: 1) yield enhancing, 2) damage control enhancing (e.g. pesticide tolerance, or pest targeted), and 3) market enhancing (e.g. through establishment of hither-to-fore unavailable product characteristics). By comparing the extent and nature of R&D under different market and research organizations, an assessment is presented of the social implications of achievement of alternative levels of GMO R&D.
Implications for research policy will be drawn from the results. It is likely that conclusions will be able to establish the social implications of alternative organizations of research.