How can you ensure the short-term and long-term wellbeing of both people and soil in "developing countries" where GMO-creating companies sell or offer their seeds (and products) in the various capacities? Please provide evidence of scientific resources that show robust care for local ecologies, cultures, economies and individual household's wellbeing.
Submitted by: AndrewHowe
Expert response from Cecilia Chi-Ham
Director Science & Technology, PIPRA
Friday, 23/08/2013 15:12
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 percent of all farmers growing GM 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 decreased hospital visits due to insecticide poisonings.
Please follow these links for a compilation of studies studying the impact of GM 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)
- ISAAA-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 socioeconomic impact of GM corn among Honduran farmers. Our preliminary data shows farmers of GM crops benefit from increased 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 GM cotton had a higher percentage of medically assisted childbirth and 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 GM cotton. Higher yields and decreased insecticide costs lead to increased farm income of up to 70 percent, according to this study by Choudhary and Gaur.