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The European Union (EU) still retains genetically modified (GM) crop applications within its agriculture and on the EU market. The current EU non-GM crop regime is in fact a ‘fictitious’ or ‘virtual’ non-GM crop regime that has developed into a ‘wicked’ problem. Any progress towards resolving this impasse, either in favour or against GM crops and their applications, is extremely difficult due to the inherent nature of the problem and the high level of conflict, discord and complexity involved. Top-down decisions are ineffective as a solution, which was clearly demonstrated by the failure to induce change when the GM potato Amflora was resolutely authorised for cultivation in the EU. True solutions require multi-level stakeholder engagement and a common understanding of a shared problem to break the impasse in the EU. Reaching this shared understanding remains a major - albeit interesting - challenge for future research


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