PG Economics report shows substantial economic benefit of genetically modified seeds

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced that a report released yesterday said the economic benefit for farmers who used genetically modified (GM) seeds averaged more than $122 for every 2.5 acres in 2013.

The report by PG Economics, titled “GM Crops: Global Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts 1996-2013,” said that in 2013, the 18th year of widespread adoption of crops using biotechnology innovations, the technology has continued to boost agricultural productivity, resulting in higher farm incomes and an improved environment.

BIO Acting Executive Food and Agriculture VP Matt O’Mara said the report highlights biotechnology’s positive environmental impact.

“Crop biotechnology has reduced pesticide use substantially, enabling farmers to spend less time on the tractor burning fewer fossil fuel, which ultimately reduces carbon dioxide emissions,” O’Mara said. “In addition, the switch to no-till systems by farmers growing herbicide-tolerant crops has enhanced soil quality and has enabled farmers to switch to more benign herbicides to help control weeds.”

The report said the net economic benefit at the farm level in 2013 was $20.5 billion, which was divided equally between farmers in developing and developed countries. The highest yield gains were achieved by farmers in developing countries, many of which are resource-poor and farm small plots of land.

To download the full report, visit www.pgeconomics.co.uk.

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