Are current EU policies on GMOs justified?

Andreas T. Christiansen*, Martin Marchman Andersen, Klemens Kappel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The European Court of Justice’s recent ruling that the new techniques for crop development are to be considered as genetically modified organisms under the European Union’s regulations exacerbates the need for a critical evaluation of those regulations. The paper analyzes the regulation from the perspective of moral and political philosophy. It considers whether influential arguments for restrictions of genetically modified organisms provide cogent justifications for the policies that are in place, in particular a pre-release authorization requirement, mandatory labelling, and de facto bans (in the form of withholding or opting out of authorizations). It is argued that arguments pertaining to risk can justify some form of pre-release authorization scheme, although not necessarily the current one, but that neither de facto bans nor mandatory labelling can be justified by reference to common arguments concerning naturalness, agricultural policy (in particular the promotion of organic farming), socio-economic effects, or consumers’ right to choose.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)267-286
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • GMO
  • Policy
  • Risk
  • Natural
  • Organic
  • Labelling
  • Authorization
  • Opt-out

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Are current EU policies on GMOs justified?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this