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Bioscience Issues

Dr Eric Wailes

Identify and analyze the barriers to the acceptance and use of GM rice[1]

Professor Eric Wailes, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. USA

Summary of Project

This study examines barriers to acceptance and use of GM rice at the global and country levels.

Project Activities:
1. Descriptive and analytical policy analyses of government treatment of GM rice will be conducted for major producing/consuming and major exporting/importing countries.

The output will be a book targeted to policy decision-makers, scientists, and the general public. Chapters of the book, structured using a similar outline, will explore the policy landscape of GM rice for Bangladesh, China, Colombia, European Union, India, Japan, Philippines, Tanzania, and the United States. A synthesis chapter will highlight differences and similarities in the policy environments and suggest potential paths and costs to approval of GM rice. Intermediate output will be a set of background presentations for each country and a working paper series in English and respective native language, posted to the project website. http://gmrice.uark.edu/ The working paper series will be completed by December 2013 and the book published in 2014.

2. In-depth country studies will be conducted in food deficit, rice importing countries representing three different continents including Asia (Bangladesh, China, and Japan), Africa (Tanzania), and Latin American (Colombia). The purpose of this component of the project is to go beyond the policy analysis and identify and analyze attitudinal barriers held by rice producers and consumers using experimental auctions and questionnaires. Methods will be the same across countries to obtain comparative analytics. The output will include journal articles and study briefs posted on the project website. Information treatments will be utilized to assess the impact of providing science-based information about the benefits and risks associated with GM rice. The field research will be conducted in 2013 and analysis in articles and briefs will released as results become available.

3. A relational content analysis of news and social media will be conducted for a subset of countries (China, Tanzania, and the U.S.). The purpose is to assess the association of degree of fact-based information with tone, message and source (news organizations, domestic and international institutions, NGOs, etc.). A particular focus will be an assessment of the role and impact of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the messaging  of acceptance and use of GM rice. Output will include journal articles and policy briefs posted to the project website. The content analysis will be conducted in 2013 and results reported in 2014.

4. Global rice models maintained by the Arkansas Global Rice Economics Project (AGREP) will be used to conduct scenarios analyses of alternative levels of acceptance and use of GM rice at the national and global levels. Household level models for one or two countries will be linked to the global model scenarios to assess the impact on costs and returns (monetary, food security, health and nutrition) to producers, and the costs and benefits (health, income, nutrition, etc.) to consumers. The macro analysis will assess costs and benefits of adoption and segregation protocols encountered by a limited number of countries who will be subject through trade to alternative regulatory regimes. Outputs will include journal articles and policy briefs posted to the project website. Modeling and analytical work will be conducted in 2013 and results published in 2014.

5. The project is coordinated with an initial workshop held October 2012 and followed with monthly skype meetings over the life of the project. The research activities are validated with external experts and systematic internal reviews. External peer reviews will also be used to maintain quality of output.


[1] Eric Wailes, Principal Investigator with co-principals of Mohammad Alam (Bangladesh), Alvaro Durand-Morat (Argentina), Hans De Steur (Belgium), Ed Chavez (Philippines), Shoichi Ito (Japan), Francis Mwaijande (Tanzania), and Zheng Zhihao (China), Project is coordinated through Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville