chapter  10
GMO regulation in the Netherlands: a story of hope, fear and the limits of ‘poldering’
ByHAN SOMSEN
Pages 20

Global, regional, and national regulatory debates about the implications of modern agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are predominantly couched in the language of risk. Risks associated with GMOs remain uncertain to a considerable extent, so that debate has in turn inevitably become politicised. The formidable challenge facing any regulatory regime addressing research, patenting or trade involving GMOs is to accommodate, and to some extent pacify, opposing views that are entertained by different actors. As this chapter will show, this is a tall order for even a small and homogeneous country as the Netherlands, but may prove virtually impossible for a European Union (EU) of 27 that spans from the deserts of southern Spain to the most northerly tip of Finland.