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Abstract

Europe is currently struggling to implement coherent coexistence regulations on genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops in all EU Member States. We conduct simulations with the software ArcView® on a GIS dataset of a hypothetical case of GM herbicide tolerant oilseed rape cultivation in Central France. Our findings show that rigid coexistence rules, such as large distance requirements, may impose a severe burden on GM crop production in Europe. These rules are not proportional to the farmers’ basic incentives for coexistence and hence not consistent with the objectives of the European Commission. More alarming, we show that in densely planted areas a domino-effect may occur. This effect raises coexistence costs and even adds to the non-proportionality of rigid coexistence regulations. Instead, we show that flexible measures would be preferable since they are proportional to the incentives for coexistence and, hence, less counterproductive for European agriculture.

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