What drive economic demand for GMOs?
what drives the GMO market globally?
Submitted by: shahnawajkhan
Expert response from Dr. Stuart Smyth
Assistant Professor, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, University of Saskatchewan
Friday, 08/05/2015 13:42
The simple answer to your question is farmers. Let me explain.
The most common traits in commercially available GM crops are herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. With herbicide tolerance, farmers are able to spray their fields with chemicals that are less environmentally damaging than previous chemicals were and get better weed control than they previously had. With insect resistant crops, farmer do not have to spray their crops with insecticides as much as they would have previously done.
As a whole farmers are very environmentally conscious, so adopting a technology that reduces the amount of chemicals they apply to their fields is better for both the long-term health of their land and their own personal health. For example, GM canola adoption in Canada has reduced the amount of chemical applied to canola fields by 40 percent compared to what was applied prior to GM canola. In developing countries, where farmers spray insecticides by hand, it has meant up to 10 fewer spray applications, dropping from 14 to four in China where GM cotton is grown.
GM crops that have better weed and insect control produce higher yields. Higher yields result in higher income and profits for the farmer. Given the higher yields and profits combined with less chemical use, farmers drive the demand for GM crops.