Biotech Updates

Global Impact of Not Planting Herbicide Tolerant Crops Due to Glyphosate Ban

December 13, 2017

What will happen if herbicide tolerant crops are no longer available because glyphosate is banned? This questioned was answered by PG Economic's Graham Brookes, and Purdue University's Farzad Taheripour and Wallace Tyner in their research article published in GM Crops and Food.

According to the paper, the initial impacts include loss of global farm income amounting to US$6.76 billion, and decrease in the production of soybean, corn, and canola, by around 18.6 million tons, 3.1 million tons and1.44 million tons, respectively. The environment would be directly affected as well, due to increase in the use of other herbicides with 8.2 million kg of active ingredient, and larger net negative environmental impact quotient of 12.4%. Furthermore, there will be an increase in carbon emissions due to fuel usage and reduced soil carbon sequestration, as if adding 11.77 million cars more on the roads. 

Other effects on global welfare were also predicted using Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model GTAP-BIO and found that most impacts are negative. World prices of all grains, oilseeds, and sugars are expected to rise. Land use area for crops is also expected to increase by 762,000 ha, which may further lead to deforestation, and increase in more carbon dioxide emissions.

Read more from the open-access article in GM Crops and Food.