GM crops: Reaping the benefits, but not in Europe - Socio-economic impacts of agricultural biotechnology
Biotech crops growing around the world
Since the first commercialisation of genetically modified crops in 1996, agricultural biotechnology has spread rapidly around the world. In 2010, 15.4 million farmers in 29 countries cultivated GM crops and experienced socio-economic and environmental benefits.
Addressing benefits and concerns
The reasons for farmers to choose biotech crops include higher productivity, such as yield increases of up to 30% on the same amount of land, and extra income. Significant environmental benefits have also been recorded, such as reduced pesticide application and reduced CO2 emissions, and decreased soil erosion through the adoption of no-till practices. However, especially in Europe people still have concerns about the impact of GM crops. Apart from ethical, environmental and safety issues, some people raise socio-economic impacts, like access of the technology for poor farmers or questions about who really benefits.