“GMO” maize and public health – A case of Schumpeterian policy vs. free market in the EU
- GMO maize,
- EU biotech regulation,
- Schumpeterian policy
EU lawmakers have long refused the cultivation of “Genetically Modified Organisms”. An example of this struggle is the revision of the accepted level of contaminants in maize: rather than admitting that Bt maize is safer than “non-GMO” varieties, and therefore European farmers should be allowed not only to import it, but also to produce it, politicians have raised the threshold of the poisonous fumonisins that may be legally present in food and feed. This decision is an example of a “Schumpeterian” approach to policy, where public choices are not inspired by a science-based mindset, but are substantially dictated by a calculus of consent; economic/commercial protectionism has also been considered as a motivation. While scholars must continue to explain that every policy decision should have a basis in sound science, no way out of the “GMO” imbroglio seems to be foreseeable, as long as politicians stick to the Schumpeterian iron law.