Biotech Updates

15.4 Million Farmers Can't Be Wrong: GM Crops Offer Tangible Socio-Economic Benefits

April 20, 2011

The recently released study on GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2009 by Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot is hoped to become another eye opener for the farmers and policy-makers in Europe. The higher profits from higher yields and environmental benefits of biotech crops translate to savings of more land, fuel, money, reduced application of crop protection products, and less water. A related study by the Joint Research Center of the EC revealed that farm income increase by up to €122 per hectare, led to higher average yields of 11.8% during heavy insect infestation, and resulted to a reduction in insecticide costs by as much as €20.4 per hectare.

Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, EuropaBio's Director for Green Biotechnology Europe, commented, "Purely in economic terms, a recent study showed that EU farmers are missing out on €440-930 million each year, simply because they do not have access to the GM crops that could be grown here. This means, as well, that there are other foregone benefits, such as no-till methods, fuel savings, and carbon emissions reductions. There is no question that these crops are beneficial – otherwise, why would 15.4 million farmers around the world continue to plant them?"

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