I was born and raised in a developing country, Honduras, and can appreciate the concern for the well-being of the people and the environment. It is really important that we consider the well-being of farmers in developing countries because they represent 90% of all farmers growing GMO crops in the world (ISAAA, 2012). So far, biotechnology has offered developing countries farms with increased productivity, economic gains, and environmental benefits including reduced insecticide use, and decrease in hospital visits due to insecticide poisonings.
Please follow this link for a compilation of studies studying the impact of GMO crops and experiences in developing countries:
- Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics, Environment, Ethics, and the Future Alan B. Bennett, Cecilia Chi-Ham, Geoffrey Barrows, Steven Sexton, and David Zilberman (2013) http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-environ-050912-124612
- ISAAA-Impact Assessment of Crop Biotechnology http://www.isaaa.org/programs/impact_assessment_of_crop_biotechnology/
And, shortly we will be able to share our ongoing research between PIPRA at the University of California, Davis, IFPRI in Washington D.C. and Zamorano Agricultural University in Honduras, on the socio-economic impact of GM corn among Honduran farmers. Our preliminary data shows farmers of GMO crops benefit from increase yields and higher net income as well as a significant decrease in pesticide application. These same effects have been seen in China, India, and the Philippines.
A recent study in India showed that farm families growing GMO cotton, had a higher percentage of medically assisted childbirth, were more likely to have immunized children, and their children were more likely to be enrolled in school. All these benefits were found to be directly related to the increased income generated by the GMO cotton. Higher yields and decreased insecticide costs lead to increased farm income of up to 70% according to this study. This is the link for this study by Choudhary and Gaur: http://www.isaaa.org/india/media/Socio-economic and farm level impact of Bt cotton in India, 2002 to 2010-11 aug final.pdf