biotech crops, labeling, regulatory policy, antibiotech laws, class action lawsuits, grower agreements, grower districts, stewardship program, public nuisance law, economic threat

Document Type



The European Union's new traceability system for biotech crops will lead to the proliferation of non-tariff barriers affecting biotech crops. This, in turn, will lead to economic dislocation and attendant liability in the United States, which is losing billions of dollars in export trade. A chain of complex legal problems will arise for United States-based companies as they strive to trace particular genetically modified (GM) events and avoid commingling. The European Union (E. U) tracing law for biotech crops applies at each stage of commodity commerce, from grain shippers leading back through elevators, growers, and seed companies. Warranty liability could arise from denial of entry in the ports of the E. U, and any trading partners following a similar "zero tolerance" approach (e.g., China, New Zealand, Japan, etc.) as shippers denied entry use the E. U-imposed tracing system to trace unapproved-in-E. U, biotech crops back to growers or biotech seed companies. Nuisance liability could arise as growers look to their neighbors for the source of their warranty violation. E. U-mandated documentation will expedite the process of establishing liability for commingling of the variety of biotech crop.