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Checkbiotech: Workshop proceedings on marketplace standards for ag biotech products posted by
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: September 12, 2005 07:40AM ; ;

In December 2004, the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology hosted an
invitation-only workshop to explore how standards are used in the marketing
and trade of agricultural products, and the relevance different kinds of
standards might have for agricultural biotechnology, September 2005.

The meeting allowed stakeholders from all segments of the food chain,
along with representatives from government, academia and consumer groups,
the opportunity to discuss how markets have historically determined when
standards defining specific types of products are necessary, the different
roles of various stakeholders, and the impact standards can have on
international trade.

Standards of different kinds exist throughout the marketplace, and are
designed to help buyers and sellers agree on what they are trading.
Standards for product safety (e.g., pesticide tolerances), standards for
product quality (e.g., grade standards for fresh fruit and vegetables) and
standards for production processes (e.g., certified organic) are among the
many types of standards in use today.

Agricultural biotechnology continues to present new market opportunities and
challenges. As the technology and the marketplace grow increasingly complex,
with new product types and shifting consumer demands, a workshop to examine
how tools such as standards might maximize new opportunities and minimize
market disruptions seemed useful to stakeholders.

The workshop, which took place in Washington, D.C. over the course of a day
and one-half, was conceived as a follow-up to a September 2001 conference
sponsored by the Pew Initiative and USDA's Economic Research Service.
Proceedings from the workshop, titled "Setting Standards: Biotechnology in
the Marketplace", is now available on the Pew Initiative website.

Highlights include:

An outline of the fundamental concepts for standards, why they exist and how
they evolve in response to technological development and changing societal
A simulated negotiation of how to bring a hypothetical genetically modified
crop to the consumer market, involving the individual perspectives of
real-life growers, buyers, sellers and processors of segregated agricultural
A detailed discussion of the tests now used to detect genetically modified
organisms, examining the strengths and weaknesses of various methodologies
as well as the limitations of these technologies for producers, shippers and
food manufacturers attempting to meet international regulatory requirements
and customer demands.
An examination of the current need for, development and implementation of,
international standards with respect to genetically modified products as
well as the impact the introduction of standards could have on international

Proceedings and highlights from the workshop can be viewed and downloaded
at: [].

Information about the September 2001 conference sponsored by the Pew
Initiative and USDA, including an agenda and proceedings, are available at:

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