The central question addressed in this study is how one of the world's strongest and fastest growing sectors—the biotech industry—has seemingly been without influence in the EU's efforts to regulate genetically modified organisms. First, agri-biotech industry's positions are compared to the policy outputs. This is followed by a discussion about precaution and protectionism. The paper goes on to analyze the role of industry in light of three hypothesized explanations: internal unity; access to decision-making; and strength of counterbalancing forces. It concludes that counterbalancing forces, particularly in combination with developments in the EU decision-making procedures, provide the greatest explanatory power. Moreover, the strength of the counterbalancing forces in this particular environmental issue area is boosted by the links between health and environment concerns in public opinion.

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