Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Investing in antibiotics to alleviate future catastrophic outcomes: What is the value of having an effective antibiotic to mitigate pandemic influenza?
Megiddo, Itamar ; Drabik, D. ; Bedford, Tim ; Morton, Alec ; Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Laxminarayan, Ramanan - \ 2019
Health Economics 28 (2019)4. - ISSN 1057-9230 - p. 556 - 571.
antibiotics - antibiotics resistance - insurance value - pandemic influenza - real options analysis - secondary bacterial infections
Over 95% of post‐mortem samples from the 1918 pandemic, which caused 50
to 100 million deaths, showed bacterial infection complications. The introduc-
tion of antibiotics in the 1940s has since reduced the risk of bacterial infections,
but growing resistance to antibiotics could increase the toll from future
influenza pandemics if secondary bacterial infections are as serious as in
1918, or even if they are less severe. We develop a valuation model of the
option to withhold wide use of an antibiotic until significant outbreaks such
as pandemic influenza or foodborne diseases are identified. Using real options
theory, we derive conditions under which withholding wide use is beneficial,
and calculate the option value for influenza pandemic scenarios that lead to
secondary infections with a resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain. We find that
the value of withholding an effective novel oral antibiotic can be positive and
significant unless the pandemic is mild and causes few secondary infections
with the resistant strain or if most patients can be treated intravenously.
Although the option value is sensitive to parameter uncertainty, our results
suggest that further analysis on a case‐by‐case basis could guide investment
in novel agents as well as strategies on how to use them.
Perspective: regulation of pest and disease control strategies and why (many) economists are concerned
Wesseler, Justus - \ 2019
Pest Management Science 75 (2019)3. - ISSN 1526-498X - p. 578 - 582.
approval - economics - pest management strategies - policy - regulation

Pests and diseases are a continuous challenge in agriculture production. A wide range of control strategies have been and will continue to be developed. New control strategies are in almost all countries around the world assessed prior to approval for use in farmers' fields. This is rightly so to avoid and even reduce negative effects for human health and the environment. Over the past decades the approval processes have become increasingly politicized resulting in an increase in the direct approval costs and the length in approval time without increasing the safety of the final product. This reduces the development of control strategies and often has negative human health and environmental effects. Possibilities exist for improvements. They include reducing approval costs and approval time by streamlining the approval process and substituting approval requirements by strengthening ex-post liability.

A comparison of the EU and US regulatory frameworks for the active substance registration of microbial biological control agents
Frederiks, Coen ; Wesseler, Justus H.H. - \ 2019
Pest Management Science 75 (2019)1. - ISSN 1526-498X - p. 87 - 103.
(M)BCA - (microbial) biocontrol agents - biopesticides - EU - registration - regulation - USA

Background: Microbial biological control agents (MBCA) are biopesticides based on living microbes. They have huge potential for the control of pests and diseases, but have trouble reaching the European Union (EU) market. According to several authors, this is caused by the regulatory regime, which is less supportive compared with that in the USA. The main objective of this paper is to present regulatory differences between the USA and the EU, and the resulting effects and developments of registration in both regions. Results: Results show that EU registration is more complex due to differences between EU- and Member State (MS)-level processes, large actor heterogeneity and low flexibility. As a result, EU registration takes, on average, ∼ 1.6 years longer than US registration. Regulatory amendments have improved EU-level processes and led to a significant contraction of procedural time spans, but processes at the MS level have not improved and have become a larger procedural obstacle. Conclusion: The results correspond with the idea that EU registration is complex and lengthy compared with that in the USA. To improve regulation, national-level processes should be targeted for amendment. To that end, the authors suggest various ways of expanding the registration capacity of MS.

A comparison of the EU regulatory approach to directed mutagenesis with that of other jurisdictions, consequences for international trade and potential steps forward
Eriksson, Dennis ; Kershen, Drew ; Nepomuceno, Alexandre ; Pogson, Barry J. ; Prieto, Humberto ; Purnhagen, Kai ; Smyth, Stuart ; Wesseler, Justus ; Whelan, Agustina - \ 2018
New Phytologist (2018). - ISSN 0028-646X
CJEU - directed mutagenesis - genetically modified organism (GMO) - genome editing - precision breeding

A special regulatory regime applies to products of recombinant nucleic acid modifications. A ruling from the European Court of Justice has interpreted this regulatory regime in a way that it also applies to emerging mutagenesis techniques. Elsewhere regulatory progress is also ongoing. In 2015, Argentina launched a regulatory framework, followed by Chile in 2017 and recently Brazil and Colombia. In March 2018, the USDA announced that it will not regulate genome-edited plants differently if they could have also been developed through traditional breeding. Canada has an altogether different approach with their Plants with Novel Traits regulations. Australia is currently reviewing its Gene Technology Act. This article illustrates the deviation of the European Union's (EU's) approach from the one of most of the other countries studied here. Whereas the EU does not implement a case-by-case approach, this approach is taken by several other jurisdictions. Also, the EU court ruling adheres to a process-based approach while most other countries have a stronger emphasis on the regulation of the resulting product. It is concluded that, unless a functioning identity preservation system for products of directed mutagenesis can be established, the deviation results in a risk of asynchronous approvals and disruptions in international trade.

Economics of agricultural biotechnology
Zilberman, David ; Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Schmitz, Andrew ; Gordon, Ben - \ 2018
In: The Routledge Handbook of Agricultural Economics / L. Cramer, Gail, P. Paudel, Krishna, Schmitz, Andrew, London : Routledge - ISBN 9781138654235 - p. 670 - 686.
This chapter surveys the economics of the impact of genetic engineering (GE) in agriculture. Research shows that adoption of these technologies has increased crop yields and farm income, while reducing pesticide, input use, and greenhouse gas emissons from agriculture. The adoption of GE has been impeded by heavy regulatory constraints resulting from political economic considerations. The underutilization of GE in agriculture has negative impacts on ecnomic welfare, especially the poor in developing countries.
New plant breeding techniques under food security pressure and lobbying
Shao, Qianqian ; Punt, Maarten ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
Frontiers in Plant Science 9 (2018). - ISSN 1664-462X
Food policy - Food security - Gene editing - Lobbying - Political economy

Different countries have different regulations for the approval and cultivation of crops developed by using new plant breeding technologies (NPBTs) such as gene editing. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between global food security and the level of NPBT regulation assuming a World Nation Official (WNO) proposes advice on global NPBT food policies. We show that a stricter NPBT food regulation reduces food security as measured by food availability, access, and utilization. We also find that political rivalry among interest groups worsens the food security status, given the NPBT food technology is more productive and the regulatory policy is influenced by lobbying. When the WNO aims to improve food security and weighs the NPBT food lobby contribution more than the non-NPBT food lobby's in the lobbying game, the total lobbying contributions will be the same for the WNO, and the NPBT food lobby will be more successful in the political process. The NPBT food lobby, however, under food security loses its advantage in the political competition, and this may result in a strict NPBT food policy. Under food security problems implementing stricter NPBT food regulations results in welfare losses.

EU Court casts new plant breeding techniques into regulatory limbo
Purnhagen, K. ; Kok, E.J. ; Kleter, G.A. ; Schebesta, H. ; Visser, R.G.F. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2018
Nature Biotechnology 36 (2018)9. - ISSN 1087-0156 - p. 799 - 800.
Forest plantations’ investments in social services and local infrastructure : an analysis of private, FSC certified and state-owned, non-certified plantations in rural Tanzania
Degnet, Mohammed B. ; Werf, Edwin van der; Ingram, Verina ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
Land Use Policy 79 (2018). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 68 - 83.
Certification - FSC - Perceptions - Private forest plantations - Social services - Tanzania

With the rapid expansion of forest plantations worldwide, communities, NGOs and researchers are increasingly expressing their concerns about the outcomes of plantations’ activities for local households. This study investigates the perceptions of local households about forest plantations’ investments in social services and local infrastructure in rural Tanzania. We consider households living in villages adjacent to private, FSC certified forest plantations and households in villages adjacent to a state-owned, non-certified plantation. We use survey data from 338 households to analyze perceived changes in school enrolment, quality of education, and the number and quality of health centers, roads and bridges associated with investments by plantations. We use a mixed method approach and complement the results from a logistic regression model with observations of the size and quality of social services and infrastructure in the villages and with findings from focus group discussions. The results show that households in the villages adjacent to both the private, FSC certified and state-owned, non-certified forest plantations associate the plantations with improved social services and local infrastructure in the study villages. Moreover, we find that the private, FSC certified forest plantations are viewed more favorably than the state-owned, non-certified plantation in terms of their contributions to social services and local infrastructure in the study areas. Richer households tend to perceive the investments of the plantations more favorably than poorer households in the study villages.

The conservation effects of trade with imperfect competition and biased policymakers
Shao, Qianqian ; Janus, Thorsten ; Punt, Maarten J. ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
Agriculture 8 (2018)7. - ISSN 2077-0472
Environmental conservation - International trade - Race to the bottom - Race to the top - Reciprocal dumping

In this paper, we study the effects of international trade on forest conservation and welfare in a two-country model with industry-biased policymakers and Cournot-competing firms. We find that opening up to trade increases the harvest taxes that the industry-biased governments impose compared to the autarky taxes. The tax increase is large enough to decrease the production levels, which leads to higher conservation levels. In addition, the numerical simulation predicts that increasing the industry-bias monotonically increases (i) the positive tax effect, (ii) the positive conservation effect, and (iii) the welfare gains from trade. The intuition behind the results is that industry-biased governments already degrade the environment under autarky, so even a highly-distorted trade outcome can be welfare-improving. We conclude that, even if industry bias decreases conservation, it does not have to increase the environmental costs of trade.

The European Union Court’s Advocate General’s Opinion and new plant breeding techniques
Purnhagen, K. ; Kok, E.J. ; Kleter, G.A. ; Schebesta, H. ; Visser, R.G.F. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2018
Nature Biotechnology 36 (2018)7. - ISSN 1087-0156 - p. 573 - 575.
The socioeconomic benefits of biological control of western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera virgifera and wireworms Agriotes spp. in maize and potatoes for selected European countries
Benjamin, Emmanuel O. ; Grabenweger, Giselher ; Strasser, Hermann ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection 125 (2018)3. - ISSN 1861-3829 - p. 273 - 285.
Biological control agents - Diabrotica virgifera virgifera - Integrated pest management (IPM) - Socioeconomic welfare gain - Wireworms Agriotes spp

Innovative biological pest control of the western corn rootworm (WCR) Diabrotica virgifera virgifera and wireworms Agriotes spp. in maize and potato cultivation in Europe is driven by (1) the economic damages caused and (2) the restrictions on chemical pesticides. We analyze the efficacy of biological control agents for WCR and wireworms based on European field trails. A partial equilibrium displacement model is used to estimate the changes in producer and consumer surplus for France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria and Romania given different adoption ceiling and adoption speed. Furthermore, the benefit of a potential reduction in pesticide use due to biological control application is evaluated. The results suggest a total annual welfare gain of ca. €190 million from biocontrol of WCR in maize production for the countries under consideration at an adoption ceiling and adoption speed of 30% and 2.41, respectively. In potato production, an annual welfare gain of over €2 million may be recorded in ecological and/or organic cultivation. Overall, the biological control methods provide an economical alternative in maize and can contribute to increase the competitiveness of European Union (EU) agriculture, while they look promising for certified organic potato production at the current level of control efficiency.

Do locals have a say? Local participation in governance of forest plantations in Tanzania and Mozambique
Degnet, M.B. ; Werf, D.C. van der; Ingram, V.J. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2018
With the expansion of large-scale forest plantations in developing countries, concerns are rising about their relation and integration with adjacent local communities. Local participation in forest governance can potentially affect the distributional effects of plantations’ benefits and mitigate possible adverse effects. Using data from villages adjacent to forest plantations in Tanzania and Mozambique, we explore differences in local participation between plantations. In Tanzania, we assess if there are differences in local participation in private and state-owned plantations. In Mozambique, we compare local participation in certified private plantations with local participation in a conventionally managed private plantation to examine the relation between certification standards and local forest governance outcomes. Our quantitative analysis shows that households in villages adjacent to private certified plantations are more likely to have a say in the activities of the plantations than households in villages adjacent to non-certified private and state owned plantations. We use insights from access theory to explain our findings: private plantations may have more incentives to involve local people to guarantee their investments in plantations than state-owned plantations. Certification requirements may also strengthen these incentives by requiring plantations to comply with national regulations and international conventions to identify and uphold customary rights of local communities and address their concerns. While households in villages adjacent to certified private forest plantations in Tanzania are more likely to report that they are satisfied with their say, we did not find a significant result in Mozambique. We further found that some social groups (male-headed, with more education and those who work for plantations) are more likely to have a say in plantations activities than their counterparts in both countries. We emphasize that improved and fair local participation in governance of plantations is vital in terms of the sustainability of large-scale plantations and integrating them in rural landscapes
Food processor and retailer non-GMO standards in the US and EU and the driving role of regulations
Castellari, Elena ; Soregaroli, Claudio ; Venus, Thomas J. ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
Food Policy 78 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 26 - 37.
GMO - Non-GMO regulation - Private and public standards
In the last two decades, voluntary standards have played an increasing role in reshaping the non-GMO labeling schemes in the EU and the US. This work compares the mandatory and voluntary labeling schemes for food produced from or with GMO in these two markets. After reviewing the EU and US regulatory frameworks, we introduce the incentives for the implementation of private and public voluntary standards. We describe the experiences of voluntary standards adoption by highlighting the development of non-GMO labeled products markets in EU and US. We emphasize the similarities between EU and US frameworks, the convergence between public and private standards, and identify the potential for future development of the non-GMO market. We conclude by describing the policy and economic implications of the development of the non-GMO labeled products markets and consequences of the regulation that will apply to crops derived by new genetic modification techniques.
The role of a German multi-stakeholder standard for livestock products derived from non-GMO feed
Venus, Thomas J. ; Drabik, Dusan ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
Food Policy 78 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 58 - 67.
Certification - Credence good - Food labeling - Genetically modified organisms - Multi-stakeholder - Process attribute - Voluntary private standard
In Germany, products derived from livestock who were fed GMO are not required to be labeled as GMO. However, non-GMO labeling requires compliance with the national public non-GMO production standard, including a confirmation that no GM feed was used. In addition to the national standard, firms can adopt a private collaborative certification standard set by a multi-stakeholder organization. Using a survey of German dairies, we show that firms with more suppliers were more likely to adopt the multi-stakeholder standard or to stay conventional if their perceived risk of reputation loss and liability issues for non-GMO production were higher. Firms with lower perceived risks were more likely to comply only with the public standard for non-GMO labeling (i.e., not adopt the private standard). We discuss how potential incongruent interests of the various stakeholders that set the private production and certification standard may have incentivized firms to adopt the non-GMO standard in the initial phase after the introduction of the labeling option.
The economics and politics GM food labeling : An introduction to the special issue
McCluskey, Jill J. ; Wesseler, Justus ; Winfree, Jason A. - \ 2018
Food Policy 78 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 1 - 5.
Biotechnology - GMOs - Labeling
This introduction to the special issue focuses on the economics of labeling genetically modified (GM) foods and implications of GM-labeling policies and the specific contributions of papers included.
Economics of Sustainable Development and the Bioeconomy
Zilberman, David ; Gordon, Ben ; Hochman, Gal ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2018
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 40 (2018)1. - ISSN 2040-5790 - p. 22 - 37.
Sustainable development - bioeconomy - dynamics - heterogeneity - adoption - renewable resources
Sustainable development can be attained by policies that are derived by analyses that integrate biophysical considerations into economic models. We show that policies and incentives that correct market failure can attain sustainable resources, and development of the bioeconomy, which relies on biological processes and feed-stock to produce renewable products. The design of sustainable development policies and analysis of the bioeconomy pose new challenges to applied economists, who are uniquely qualified to integrate economic analysis with biophysical considerations.
The Formation of GM-free and GM Coasean Clubs : Will They Form and If So How Much Can They Achieve?
Punt, Maarten J. ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
Journal of Agricultural Economics 69 (2018)2. - ISSN 0021-857X - p. 413 - 438.
Club formation - Coalition formation - Ex-post liability - Game theory - GM coexistence

The unintended presence of traces of genetically modified (GM) crops in the harvests of non-GM crops plays a prominent role in the debate over the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops. One way to address the issue is the formation of GM-free or GM-only clubs. We model the decisions of individual farmers to cultivate either GM or non-GM crops and combine this with a game theoretic model of club formation to investigate the feasibility of such clubs. We consider two liability regimes: GM farmers are liable or they are not. We consider two benchmarks: Nash equilibrium without negotiations and the efficient allocation and compare those with partial co-operation through a Coasean club. We find that in both regimes a relatively large club can form but they are not always necessary to reach the efficient allocation. In fact, if farmers can freely decide under profit maximisation what to cultivate, they reach 95% of an efficient allocation. This holds independent of the property rights system and provides strong support for coexistence policies based on ex-post liability such as in the US and Spain.

Erratum to: The Plant Protection Products (PPP) Sector in the European Union: A Special View on Herbicides
Bonanno, Alessandro ; Materia, Valentina C. ; Venus, Thomas ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
European Journal of Development Research 30 (2018)2. - ISSN 0957-8811 - p. 343 - 343.
Economic Aspects of the Regulatory Framework in the Area of Fertilizers
Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Drabik, D. - \ 2017
Brussels : Publications Office of the European Union - ISBN 9789284609642 - 30 p.
This study discusses economic implications of the proposed EU regulation on the market of CE marked fertilizers. Depending on the design of the regulation, the costs can be substantial. The expected additional costs of introducing mandatory or voluntary maximum threshold levels for cadmium in inorganic fertilizer are larger than the expected benefits. Measuring cadmium concentration in food in combination with food consumption information seems to be a more cost-effective strategy. Harmonizing the standards for new fertilizing products entering the EU market can increase their supply, support the development of the bioeconomy and hence should be enforced. This document was prepared for Policy Department A in the framework of the workshop on fertilizing products organised at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.
The impact of forest plantations on households access to natural forests and farm land, Tanzania
Ingram, V.J. ; Degnet, Mohammed ; Werf, Edwin van der; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2017
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