Biotechnology policies are in many respects similar across the countries studied and are of three types: industrial policies, regulatory frameworks, and protection of intellectual property. Government-funded research, seed money, and tax credits are used within all of these countries, with the majority of support concentrated in R&D and capital investment, reflecting the knowledge and capital intensity of the industry. Tariffs, quotas, and other non-tariff barriers to trade are not widely used. While the European Union enacted process-driven legislation to regulate genetically modified organisms, biotechnology-derived products in the U.S. and Japan are regulated under existing product-driven legislation. Regulatory stringency in each country appears to reflect public attitudes towards biotechnology. Labelling of genetically modified products and patentability of transgenic animals remain controversial issues that divide the U.S. and the EU. As a country with a small domestic market for biotechnology, Canada has an interest in reducing trade obstacles caused by differential national policies.

dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1006960807550
Journal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioral sciences
Department of Economics

Chen, Z, & McDermott, A. (Alison). (1998). International comparisons of biotechnology policies. Journal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioral sciences, 21(4), 527–550. doi:10.1023/A:1006960807550