Benefits and Costs of Biologically Contained Genetically Modified Tomatoes and Eggplants in Italy and Spain

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Abstract or Summary

In this paper we assess the benefits and costs of introducing biologically contained genetically modified (GM) crops, with an application to the potential introduction of GM tomatoes and eggplants in Italy and Spain. Such crops possess both the standard beneficial GM traits, and they prevent introgression of transgenes from GM crops to their conventional or wild relatives, thereby adding to the safety of their cultivation. As a result, coexistence regulations for these crops are less stringent than for crops without biological containment. The potential adoption of biologically contained GM tomatoes and eggplants is assessed in a cost-benefit framework for Italy and Spain. We conclude that biological containment has considerable potential benefits if policy makers are willing to loosen the restrictions on the introduction of these varieties.

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