EUWAB, Economics of Agricultural Biotechnology

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In 1995 genetically engineered crops were introduced commercially. Most of this green biotechnology is developed and commercialised by a handful of vertically coordinated “life science” firms. Enforcement of intellectual property rights for biological innovations has been object of discussion for a long time. Due to their market power, these firms are able to extract a part of the total social welfare created. Ex post welfare studies reveal that farmers and input suppliers are receiving the largest part of the benefits. However, ex ante impact assessments were limited, certainly for the European Union. Hence, in May 1999 the Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven founded the EUWAB-project (European Union Welfare effects of Agricultural Biotechnology), assessing the economic impact of agricultural biotechnology innovations in the EU and their welfare distribution among Member States, producers, processors,consumers, input suppliers, governments and the environment.  Ever since the project has been adressing the isue surroundig green biotechnology in Europe and abroad. The research topic broadened including coexistence of different production systems, methodological issues of ex ante assessments, invasive species,...

  • On June 4th 2010 Koen Dillen defended his PhD titled, Opportunities for Agricultural Biotechnology in the EU: Policies and Novel Constraints.The presentation and the PhD can be downloaded on our publications website.
  • The paper "The Western Corn Rootworm, a New Threat to European Agriculture: Opportunities for Biotechnology?" is published in Pest Management Science and for download here.
  • The discussion on  the proportionality of coexistence measures inFood Policy is now complete with the publication of our reply. Downloadable here.
  • Both the articles in Ecological Economics (64(4):683-689) and in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics (59(3):463-486) have been selected by the Belgian Association of Agricultural Economists (BAAE) for inclusion in the Commemorative Book highlighting the most valuable scientific achievements in the association.