Is “GMO Free” an Additional “Organic”? On the Economics of Chain Segregation
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Once there was a time when agricultural economists dealt with only one type of segregation in the food supply chain—the segregation between white and black workers (Tang, 1959). The agricultural products were judged exclusively according to their physical qualities and segregation in the supply chain happened naturally: “Adaptation of certain varieties to certain regions has segregated them when production was undertaken” (Erdman, 1933, p. 717). Foremost, it was organic farming that posed the first challenge to this world of natural segregation. Born in opposition to the increasingly industrialized agricultural production around 1900, it was the first time that a novel, competing agricultural system emerged in the farming sector. As there was no reliable way for a visual distinction between organic and non-organic products, the need for segregation arose.