Summary: The aim of this study is to understand the implications of asynchronous approvals for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are imported to the European Union (EU) for use within animal feed products, specifically with regard to the EU livestock sector, as well as upon the upstream and downstream economic industries related to it. Asynchronous approval refers to the situation in which there is a delay in the moment when a genetically modified (GM) event – modifying a specific trait of a plant or animal – is allowed to be used in one country in comparison to another country. In the perspective of this study, the asynchronous GMO approvals concern the use of GM varieties of plants that are approved in the countries which supply them to the EU, in one form or another of feed material, before these are approved by the EU. Not all the ingredients for livestock feed used in the EU, either prepared by commercial firms or on-farm, are solely sourced within the EU market. Among the imported ingredients are maize and soybeans, and products derived from them. These two plants are increasingly subject to genetic modification to enhance their agronomic and/or phenotypic qualities. Some of these qualities are generic enhancements (tolerance to a widely marketed herbicide) and some are regionally important (resistance to a specific pest), and thus a wide variety of GM events are becoming available around the world, as will be explained in a following section.
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