Resource title

Summary report of workshop: European and American perspectives on the regulation of genetically engineered food

Resource image

image for OpenScout resource :: Summary report of workshop: European and American perspectives on the regulation of genetically engineered food

Resource description

Imagine that a man, with a comprehensive knowledge of the environmental arena, fell asleep in 1985, to wake in the 1990s in the midst of a fierce debate over a new and litigious technology: genetic engineering. The US environmental policy he had known in the 1980s would now apparently be pro-industry, whereas European environmental policy (less well developed in the 1980s compared to that of the US), would have taken a leap forward. European regulatory politics and policies over the last 15 years resemble those of the US between the late 1960s and the mid 1980s. What had changed? Are these divergent regulatory approaches like "ships passing in the night?". This hypothesis, initiated by Prof. David Vogel initiated the Insead workshop on genetically modified food on June 8 and 9, 2001. Sponsored jointly by the French-Berkeley-Fubd (U.C. Berkerley and the French ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the Insead research and Development Committee, it formed one of a series of influential workshops on trade and environment issues run by the Centre for the Management of Environmental Resources (CMER) at Insead. The aim of this particular workshop was to bring togehter a transatlantic and inter-disciplinary group of experts to engage in a dialogue on issues surrounding European and American Perspectives on the Regulation of Genetically Engineered Food. The objective was to provide stakeholders with an in(depth, multi-disciplinary, non-partisan analysis and forum for discussion. It produced a lively and constructive debate by its 25 participants, including representatives from universities, industry, international organisations, governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The workshop was structured to facilitate discussion around the following 4 key themes: 1. Setting the Trans-Atlantic scene, what has caused the difference? 2. Regulatory science and policy 3. Market perspectives, labelling and information 4. Trade, the World Trade Organisation and the future. Each of these themes was made in a session, with 2-3 papers being presented on relevent topics and a moderated discussion following the presentations. This summary report intands to give an overview of the key questions and controversial issues raised by the papers and the discussion that ensued. It highlights points of contantion, interesting new angles on the debate as well as points wherein agreement was reached. Interesting anecdotes have been pulled out from each session to aide as points for reflection and future discussion/research. As the workshop was designed to generate an open discussion, the opportunity to speak "off the record" was provided. As such, this summary report does not cite quotes to specific participants names, nor does it reveal the full list of particpants.

Resource author

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language


Resource content type


Resource resource URL

Resource license

Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved