Report: GMO Crops Benefit Farmers, Consumers Worldwide

In a new report, the United Kingdom-based PG Economics shows over a 16-year period, the adoption of GMO cropping systems has had significant positive impacts to farmers and customers. The report, GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2011, cites several key findings.

Remember, the most recent research indicates that non-farmers are less interested in the farm-level benefits of GMOs. They’re most interested in consumer benefits of the cropping system and are fearful of the unknown.

The report finds:

  • The net economic benefit at the farm level in 2011 was $19.8 billion.
  • For the 16-year period (1996-2011), the global farm income gain was $98.2 billion.
  • Of the total farm income benefit, 49% ($48 billion) was due to yield gains resulting from lower pest and weed pressure and improved genetics, with the balance from reductions in the cost of production.
  • The insect-resistant technology used in cotton and corn has consistently delivered yield gains from reduced pest damage. The average yield gains over the 1996-2011 period across all users of the technology was +10.1% for insect-resistant corn and +15.8% for insect resistant cotton.
  • A majority (51%) of the 2011 farm income gains went to farmers in developing countries, 90% of which are resource poor and small farms.
  • Between 1996 and 2011, crop biotechnology was responsible for an additional 110 million tons of soybeans and 195 million tons of corn.
  • Without crop biotechnology, maintaining global production at the 2011 levels would have required an additional 13.344 million acres of soybeans, 16.309 million acres of corn, 8.155 million acres of cotton and 494,000 acres of canola.
  • Crop biotechnology has contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by reducing fuel use and additional soil carbon storage from reduced tillage.
  • Crop biotechnology has reduced pesticide spraying by 474 million kilograms (-9%).

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8 comments on “Report: GMO Crops Benefit Farmers, Consumers Worldwide

  1. Melissa Melton

    The authors would like to acknowledge that funding for this report came entirely from MONSANTO. It's written in the footer of pg. 19 of the report.

  2. marylee fairbanks

    Here is a list of GMO foods to avoid. Share it with everyone youknow. BOYCOTT until there is change. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/04/butter-salt-a-side-of-poison-how-to-protect-your-family-from-monsanto-genetically-modified-foods-marylee-fairbanks/

  3. Paul Schrimpf

    Marylee, the assertion in your article that there is GMO popcorn is not true. We put up with a fair bit of fear mongering here but not statements that are patently false. It doesn't help your perspective when you don't display even a basic command of the facts.

  4. Mike

    No mention of all the farmers commiting suicide in India or the link between the chemicals sprayed and disease in humans. Hell the chemicals even help the environment with greehouse gas emission reductions!! Less fuel used in the production of the fertilisers and shipping of products across the world. Even the bees are benefitting because of the superweeds that have been developed/

  5. Paul Schrimpf

    Mike – Indian farmers were committing suicide in the 1990s before GMOs arrived, mostly due to crop failure and an economic system that's stacked against them (and still is today). For a more balanced view see this story: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/26/the-myth-of-indias-gm-genocide-genetically-modified-cotton-blamed-for-wave-of-farmer-suicides/ I'm not sure how to address the rest of your comments.

  6. Mike

    Well Paul India joined the WTO in the 90s so you would have to take Indias 'free trade' economic policy into consideration when reading your article. You can look into the success of permaculture in India and consider ecomonmics in terms of life rather than dollars to gain a deeper understanding and see how dishonest the biotech industry are.

  7. Paul

    So, it's the rest of the world's fault that India has a persistently broken and corrupt system that exploits farmers that predates WTO involvement? GMOs have improved cotton production undeniably, as shown here: http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=in&commodity=cotton&graph=production But better technology can't fix a broken system.

  8. Mike

    Paul the report from India's Parliamentary Committee and the MPs unanimous report saying GM crops were not the right way forward for India and lndia's Supreme Court recommendation of a 10-year moratorium on GM crops do not support your claims. Your graph does not indicate that GM cotton has anything to do with it and your choice of cotton could be in an effort to avoid discussion of the dangers of eating gm crops.