Introduction Genetically modified products especially that of GM foods have always found themselves at the forefront of groundbreaking scientific research as well as numerous governmental inquiries and civilian protests. As such being able to successfully have them approved for distribution and marketing by numerous government agencies as well as civilian distributors has always presented itself as a problem.
This is in part due to their very nature wherein the methods used to genetically engineer are still young hence there still isn’t enough data or research available to know just what is the environmental and human impact of producing such products and whether they are or not harmful to the environment or to humans and general. What this paper seeks to do is to delve into the numerous problems that a biological product based on genetic engineering needs to overcome in order to gain market approval as well as figure out what courses of action should be undertaken if a company wants to stick to its methods of corporate social responsibility.
Factors affecting approval of GM goods for marketing Government Approval In nearly all cases governments require genetically modified food products to be tested first by numerous departments before it is allowed to marketed to the general public. This is to ensure that any product that has been tampered on a genetic level does not cause any side effects to both the population of the country as well as to the surrounding environment. In the U. S for instance all genetically engineered food products undergo 4 levels of control before they are allowed to be marketed within a state (Kuiper 1999).
The first level of control involves the use of an institutional biosafety committee. Since most of the research done on genetically engineering food products occur within institutions of learning most of these institutions have investigative committees setup wherein they determine whether or not a particular genetically engineered product is safe to be transferred outside of laboratory conditions (Kuiper 1999). The next level of control would be with the Animal and plant health inspection service of the USDA.
Under the Federal Plant Pest Act, APHIS has the responsibility to determine whether or not a genetically engineered plant variety is likely to become a nuisance to other plant life in the future such as negative environmental or agricultural effects that might devastate the local environment. As such the agency regulates the import, export, transportation, and field testing of all sorts of transgenic seeds and plants through the use of notification and permitting procedures (Kuiper 1999). This is all to ensure that the local ecosystem will not be damaged due to any genetically created mishaps.
If a company wants to market any sort of product within the U. S. they have to go through FDA standards to do so. The FDA of the U. S. has the authority to determine the safety of food products to see if it is safe for U. S. consumption. Transgenic foods are assessed for allergenicity to ensure than any unwanted side effects from the consumption of a genetically modified crop won’t affect the lives of U. S. citizens (Nordlee 1996). The final step of control is the EPA or the environmental protection agency of the U. S.
which regulates transgenic plants that are engineered for pest resistance. This is to ensure that any characteristics from these specific plants don’t spill over onto other plant species in the area which might cause irreparable harm to the local environment (Kuiper 1999). From looking at all the agencies involved in the monitoring of genetically engineered products it can be assumed that the process of approval is a long and difficult since the safety and viability of the product has to be ascertained by there groups before it can be put up for sale.
Public Approval Before any genetically modified food product can be marketed it must first gain public approval in the form of the numerous nongovernmental organizations, farmers groups and distributors that act as monitoring bodies for the numerous products that are brought into and sold into the U. S. (Schutz 2000). If these groups aren’t satisfied with the safety of the genetically modified product that is being sold even if it has passed through government approval then it is unlikely that the product will be able to be sold in the first place (Schapiro 2002).
Factors affecting marketability of GM food products Public opinion Public opinion plays an important role in the marketability of GM food products as such any negative implications that can result from the supposed problems with GM food products that reach the public ear can adversely affect whether or not a GM product can even be sold at all much less be bought (Prokop 2007). As such encouraging public opinion as to the safety of GM goods in imperative in order for it to be marketed properly Environmental Impact
The GM goods in question must be proven to have no lasting impact on the environment beyond what they were meant to do. If a GM food product shows to be capable of spreading any sort of plant malady then its marketability will go down and it is unlikely that it will be approved for sale. All GM foods must prove that they won’t have any lasting effect on the environment which might be cause for concern (Daunis 2004). PEST AND SWOT SWOT refers to the strengths, weaknesses and threats that a particular sales environment has on a business.
Combining this with PEST which stands for political, economic, social and technological analysis these two concepts help to determine whether a particular environment is conducive towards the sale of GE food products (Legislative background 2001). Take for example a country with a rich agricultural economy that deals in mainly organic goods. Not only is the competition stiff but since the local consumer base is used to and prefers organic products the sale of GM food products would not only be harder to push through via government approval but there would be a good chance that the local population would frown upon the sale of such products.
Conclusion The marketability of GM food products all depends on their safety and the opinion of the public towards their consumption. If GM food products can be proven to be universally same to consume then the problems associated with them would be fewer in number. In order for this to happen better methods of genetic engineering must be undertaken in order to ensure the quality GM food products can be delivered to the public which will showcase the reliability in this branch of food production.
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