GM soybeans and corn, which are widely grown in North and South America as well as South Africa and a few other countries, also produce large aggregate welfare gains, currently estimated at $5 billion per year at the global level. What Are the Advantages of GMOs? Due to these benefits, the crops are believed to be more flexible with regards to growing practices. In contrast, intellectual property protection is relatively weak in most developing countries, so that GM seed prices are lower and farmers’ benefit shares higher. Even though genetic engineering does not entail unique risks, GM crops are subjected to a much higher degree of scrutiny than conventionally bred crops. “Golden Rice,” one of the very first GM crops, is biofortified to address vitamin A deficiency, a common condition in developing countries that leads to blindness and entails higher rates of child mortality and infectious diseases. What was the UK report you mention? Management costs are another area that needs to be factored in when considering how cost effective GM crops can be for farmers. Nevertheless, concerns have led to complex and costly biosafety, food safety, and labeling regulations. Farmers have also used GMOs to save a crop – such as papaya from Hawaii — that was being threatened by a disease. Because approval processes are not internationally harmonized, they have become a major barrier to the spread of GM crops and technologies. 2010. Qaim, M. 2009. 1. They also impede the commercialization of GM technologies in minor crops and small countries, where markets are not large enough to justify the fixed-cost investments. Matin Qaim is a professor of international food economics and rural development at Georg-August-University of Goettingen in Germany. Genetic Modification of Plants. Expensive regulations discourage small firms, thereby contributing to the further concentration of the agricultural biotech industry. Less labour may be needed to produce the crop, which could translate into savings for the farmers. Huge benefits are also projected for future GM crops that are more tolerant to drought or more efficient in nutrient use. Subramanian, A., and M. Qaim. The government mandates at least 20% of the crop is planted with conventional cotton to help prevent insects from developing an immunity to the GM products. However, particularly in Europe, regulations designed to ensure adequate safety of GM technologies may go too far. The arduous testing comes at a cost: one estimate puts private compliance costs for approval of a new Bt corn technology in just one country at $6 million to $15 million. Where Bt crops have been grown in developing countries, the technology appears to often generate employment, because more workers are needed to harvest the significantly higher yields. Costs and Benefits of Growing GMO Seed Depending on the perspective, costs and profit of cultivation and/or use of genetically modified organisms can vary greatly. A recent simulation shows that Golden Rice could reduce health problems associated with vitamin A deficiency by up to 60 percent in rice-eating populations. They might also pose hazards to human health, from toxicity and increased risk of allergies, for example. 2010. Currently, up to 90 percent of domestic corn acres … Lowering the Price of Food Because they require fewer pesticides, land and water, GMOs help keep food production costs down resulting in lower prices for consumers. Some reform of GM regulations will be necessary, and economists have an important role in quantifying the costs and benefits. So, each set of crops or food being assessed may have different factors or variables to take into consideration.We actually wrote about how the use of GMOs in the future probably needs much clearer gu… Hi there, Clearly, assessing the cost benefits of GM foods is difficult although some organisations are concluding quite adamantly that not only are there no cost benefits, but that GM foods are resulting in huge losses to the industry itself and other ones such as the organic food industry.

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