A global ban on genetically modified crops would raise food prices and add the equivalent of nearly a billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, a study by researchers from Purdue University shows.
Conversely, if countries that already plant GMOs expanded their use of genetically modified crops to match the rate of GMO planting in the United States, global greenhouse gas emissions would fall by the equivalent of 0.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide and would allow 0.8 million hectares of cropland (about 2 million acres) to return to forests and pastures.
Banning GMO crops would also lead to an increase in global cropland of 3.1 million hectares (about 7.7 million acres), as land would be cleared to compensate for the lower yields of conventional crops.[T]he U.S., despite being the biggest planter of GMO crops, would profit under a GMO ban because of its strength as a crop producer and exporter. China, a major crop importer, would suffer a welfare loss – a measure of economic wellbeing – of $3.63 billion.
More information: Harry Mahaffey et al. Evaluating the Economic and Environmental Impacts of a Global GMO Ban, Journal of Environmental Protection (2016). DOI: 10.4236/jep.2016.711127
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