New article highlights problems associated with EFSA’s environmental protection goals for the assessment of GMOs


Fern Wickson

Fern Wickson

GenØk researcher Fern Wickson has published a new article in Ecological Economics.

The article demonstrates how the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) presents an inconsistent and variable position on environmental protection goals. It also highlights how despite this problematic inconsistency, biodiversity conservation is increasingly being approached from within an ecosystem services frame in which biodiversity is only appreciated and conserved according to its instrumental value. The ecosystem services frame used by EFSA’s GMO panel is also shown to regularly be narrowed to exclude cultural services and it is argued that this exclusion works to further marginalize public participation in GMO policy. The article concludes that the attempt to enforce a strict divide between nature and culture or social and ecological systems in Europe’s risk assessment of GMOs is emphatically counter-productive and only amplifying the ongoing debate.

Read the entire article here.

Wickson, F. (2014) “Environmental protection goals, policy and publics in the European regulation of GMOs” Ecological Economics DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.09.025