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Do GMO crops put more money in farmers’ pockets?

| | January 27, 2016

The GLP curated this excerpt as part of a daily selection of biotechnology-related news, opinion and analysis.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

. . . .CBAN [Canadian Biotechnology Action Network] suggests that GM crops don’t put more money into farmers’ pockets.

I led a group of researchers that surveyed farmers in Western Canada in 2007 about their experiences after growing GM canola for 10 years. We found that the economic benefits of GM canola were $350 to $400 million per year, cumulatively creating benefits worth $3.5 billion over the past nine years.

The biggest surprise from our survey was the identification and quantification of second year spill-over benefits. Farmers found that in some years, weed control in a field following GM canola was so superior that they didn’t need to spray it for weeds in the following crop year.

Farmers said the value of this spill-over benefit was worth an average $15 per acre, and nearly 20 percent of them felt the benefit was greater than $25 per acre. Additional benefits included reduced dockage, earlier seeding dates and reduced fuel use.

The depth of evidence and knowledge that is available about the economic and environmental benefits of GM crops means that any organization that says GM crops don’t provide economic benefits to farmers are intentionally trying to mislead the Canadian public.

The Canadian agriculture industry should be immensely proud of the economic and environmental benefits that have been generated from GM crops over their 20 year history.

Stuart Smyth is an assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s bioresource policy, business and economics department. He holds the position of research chair in agri-food innovation.

Read full, original post: GM crops provide billions in benefits

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