The economic and environmental credentials of GM crops have been given a boost from the results of a new study released this week.
In its paper ‘GM Crops: Global Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts 1996-2015’ PG Economics says biotech crops are helping to slash harmful greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time injecting tens of billions of dollars into the global agricultural industry.
The positive findings follow a report published in 2016 by America’s National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine which “found no substantiated evidence that foods from GE crops were less safe than foods from non-GE crops.”
“Over the last 20 years, where farmers have been given access to, and the choice of growing biotech/GM crops, they have consistently adopted the technology, contributing to a more sustainable food supply and a better environment where they live,” said Graham Brookes, director of PG Economics, co-author of the report.
The report claims biotech crops have increased farming income worldwide by $167.7 billion.
“The increased use of biotech crops has allowed farmers to grow more sustainably. Without biotech crops, billions more kilograms of carbon dioxide would have been emitted in 2015 alone – the equivalent of adding 11.9 million cars to the roads. Additionally, these crops have reduced the need for crop protection products and enhanced soil quality,” added Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).
A new film by Academy Award®-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy will also help add to the debate on GM crops.