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  • Joseph Najjar's picture
    Joseph Najjar
    The most concise answer I can give is that GM discoveries are not cheap. Due to general misconceptions the public holds regarding GMOs and biotechnology, the federal government has been slow to fund public universities and public sector researchers in these areas. That leaves the market wide open for companies like Monsanto or Dow to use private funding and get ahead of the curve. Due to regulations put into place by the EPA and FDA, taking a GM discovery all the way to a commercial product takes, on average, more than 13 years and $136 million. http://www.croplife.org/PhillipsMcDougallStudy

    With intellectual property and patent laws the way they are, companies have to protect their investments, in order to recover the money originally invested, plus return on that money. If other companies can start making generic copies of that discovery immediately, then there is no incentive to invest in R&D to begin with. Innovation would cease.

    In a nutshell, private investors want big returns on their investments. Just like the pharmaceutical industry, if you want cheaper seed(meds) you need to have increased government funding. Private companies will always be out to make a profit. That is the entire point of a business.