International sugar journal vol:111 issue:1330 pages:638-642
Genetically modified herbicide tolerant (HT) sugar beets were planted for the first time in the USA in 2008. In a previous issue of this journal (2008, 110 (1318): 613-617), we highlighted the promising value of this technology for European farmers, seed suppliers and gene developers. In this article, we summarize the results of recent simulations conducted with the EUWABSIM model to assess the impact of a hypothetical global introduction of HT sugar beet under both the former and the actual European Union (EU) Common Market Organization (CMO) for sugar. 1 We show that even under the given condition of private market power, proprietary seed technologies such as HT sugar beet generate significant gains for farmers and consumers while a smaller part goes to the seed sector (gene developers and seed suppliers). The global value of HT sugar beet for society in the period 1996-2014 is estimated at (sic)15.4 billion of which 29% would be captured by EU-27 farmers, 31% by farmers and consumers in the rest of the world and 39% by the seed sector. However, the global sugar sector is foregoing most of this value as the technology is currently only accepted by the US sugar industry.