The experiences of current GM exporting nations provide important indicators on the prospects for New Zealand agricultural exports should it adopt GMOs in agriculture. Market access is a particularly important issue.

The US is the largest GM food exporter in the world. Evidence of sustained market resistance in Europe and Japan and market losses for non-GM production by US growers has been extensively documented by the US Department of Agriculture, as well as by traders and food companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Sustainability Council has prepared a brief overview (attached) summarising the reception of US GM (and linked non-GM) food exports to the European Union.

The market penalties incurred by the US are relevant to the decisions New Zealand must make about whether to abandon its GM Free food producer status. Agricultural exports make up more than 50% of New Zealand’s total exports – five times that of the US and five times the average for OECD nations.

Read the briefing: Market Resistance—Lessons from the USA