Farmers net more profits growing GMOs globally, particularly in developing world

In the PLOS Biology article “A Meta-Analysis of the Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops,” researchers used data from 147 separate studies to analyze the outcomes for farmers using genetically modified (GM) and non-GM seeds. They found that using GM seeds allowed farmers to use less pesticide chemicals and earn more money.

To get a broad idea of how GMOs affect farmer’s profits, pesticide use, and crop yields, the researchers couldn’t just study one group of farmers. Instead, they looked at many studies of other people’s research. This was harder than it sounds because the researchers needed to compare studies that used different methods. They used data and results from 147 different studies.

What did they learn? On average, farmers who planted GMOs used 37 percent less pesticide to grow more food, and those farmers made a 68 percent larger profit. The researchers also found that using insecticide-resistant crops led to 25 percent greater profit while using herbicide-tolerant crops led to only 9 percent greater profit. Farmers in developing countries saw 60 percent greater profit increases than farmers in developed countries. This means that using GMOs was much more helpful to farmers in developing countries than to farmers in more developed countries. Why?

First, farmers were able to grow more crops and spent less on pesticide in developing countries. Second, most GM crops are patented in developed countries but not in developing countries. Patents give inventors exclusive rights to sell their inventions. If a government of a country does not limit who can sell the invention, then people in that country can buy the invention for less money.


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: To Grow or Not to Grow GMOs

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