Do GM crops have socio-economic benefits?

20th Apr 2011

According to a recent release from EuropBio the most likely answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ thanks to higher profits from higher yields and environmental benefits that also translate into savings.

The European Commission report on GM crops’ socio-economic implications released on the 18th April recognises that farmers cultivating GM crops “could benefit from higher yields.”

According to a study released on the 18th April, farmers planting GM crops have indeed experienced results:

· Higher productivity: growing more on less land

· Better income for farmers: global farm income benefit of over €7 billion in 2009

· 53% of farm income gain in 2009 to farmers in developing countries, and 90% of those who plant GM crops are small, resource-poor farmers who live in developing countries

· Less need to till the soil, which saves fuel and money, while reducing carbon emissions – removing the equivalent of 6.9 million cars from the road in 2009 (a decrease of 17.7 billion kg of CO2 )

· Cost savings, for example through reduced applications of crop protection products – 393 million kg reduction in 2009

· Two-thirds of the benefits of growing GM are shared among farmers and consumers, while one-third goes to the developers and seed suppliers

· Less water needed for some GM crops

 More on the EuropaBio press release on this topic can be found here

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