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How do GMOs affect businesses?

Submitted by: Eliana_Ordonez


Expert response from Community Manager

Moderator for

Monday, 07/31/2017 17:15

This question can be answered a few different ways relating to businesses.


Bart Schott, farmer and past president of the National Corn Growers Association, answers this previous question which asks how GM crops help ensure equitable business relationships between all stakeholders. He states,

“A farmer may choose not to plant GM seeds if certain destructive insects are not a problem in his or her farm or region, for example, or if the farmer may be engaged in organic production, which doesn’t allow the use of GM seeds. Just as with any business, farmers make decisions every day that fit their business models and make sense economically. Seed companies respect those decisions and develop a wide variety of seeds that farmers want to buy. Based on the effectiveness of GM technology, 17 million farmers around the world have freely chosen to plant GM crops.”


Read his full response here.


In another form, GMOs related to biotechnology can have an effect on businesses by creating more jobs. Joseph Watts, senior research scientist at Syngenta, states:


“Agricultural biotechnology has created many thousands of well-paying jobs requiring advanced education and skills since from its R&D beginning back in the 1970s. Thousands of Syngenta jobs are related to plant biotechnology—in R&D, regulatory, seed production, sales and more. In addition, the direct and indirect economic impact from the plant biotech industry as a whole is many times greater than that which directly involves the seed companies.


For context, consider that in 2013 a record 18 million farmers grew biotech crops. Remarkably over 90 percent, or more than 16.5 million, were small resource-poor farmers in developing countries. From 1996 to 2012, biotech crops increased crop production valued at US $116.9 billion and helped alleviate poverty for more than 16.5 million small farmers and their families totaling about 65 million people, who are some of the poorest people in the world.”


Read his full response here.


In regard to farming as a business, GMOs can have a positive impact sustainably. Farmer and RD Jennie Schmidt from Maryland, discusses how her family farm has practiced biotechnology farming (as well as other types) and what this farming system means and entails.


“Today’s modern agriculture has a lot of cross over with Holmgren’s 12 principles of permaculture. We as farmers, regardless of the method of farming we employ, are putting best management practices on the ground to ensure that our resource conservation efforts maximize our return on investment, meaning preservation of our land as the farm’s main asset for now and for the future. This means that by combining modern agricultural technology with the philosophy of soil health, resource conservation, and reducing our environmental impact, farmers have moved all types of farming systems along the sustainability continuum. Farming will always have impact, all human activity does, but what we as farmers strive for is to minimize that impact to the extent possible.”


Read her full response here.