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Dr. Stuart Smyth

Assistant Professor, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, University of Saskatchewan

Expert Bio

Dr. Stuart Smyth is an assistant professor in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. He is part of a group of academics that received $5.4 million in funding in 2009 from Genome Canada to examine the genomic, economic, environmental, ethical, legal and social (GE³LS) issues pertaining to bioproducts and biofuels. His research focuses on innovation and agriculture and the resulting impacts. Part of this research was compiled in a 2010 book published by Edward Elgar titled, Innovation and Liability in Biotechnology: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives. He is currently involved in the production of three books that will be published in 2014: co-author of Plant Biotechnology: Principles & Practices, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell; co-editor of Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development, to be published by Edward Elgar; and co-editor of Socio-Economic Considerations in Biotechnology Regulation, to be published by Springer.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: If gmos are the answer to the food shortages why do food prices keep going up?

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Jan 23, 2014

A: Food prices include several costs. Since humans rarely directly consume corn or soybeans, this answer refers to processed food products. Food prices are affected by increases in corn or soybean prices, but also by other costs, such as wages and transportation. For example, foods that have to be shipped or hauled long distances will be affected when the cost of fuel rises. GM crops have increased the supply of corn and soybeans so the rise in food prices is lower than the case if GM crops did not exist. Research conducted by Graham Brookes indicates that corn-based products would be [...]

GMO Basics GMOs & Farmers GMOs in Groceries


Q: How much does it cost to ship or transfer GMOs internationally and nationally? Also, how much more or less do GMOs cost to the public?

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Mar 13, 2015

A: The cost to ship GMOs is the same as it is for non-GMO commodities. Most of the GM crops are grown for animal feed, such as corn, canola or soybeans, and the livestock industry doesn’t require non-GMO animal feed, so the cost to transport a truck load or railcar of a GMO commodity would be the same as the non-GMO product.  The same would apply to international commodity shipments as these all go to the animal feed industry that doesn’t differentiate between GM and non-GM, even in Europe.   As for the second part of your question, I’m not sure of the context you a [...]

GMOs Globally GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety


Q: Are there any statistics showing the increasing harvest by cultivating GMOs like Round Up Ready or genetically modified canola in Canada?

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Apr 17, 2015

A: Genetically modified canola was not bred to be yield enhancing, but herbicide resistant so that farmers could improve their weed control. Canola yields will vary annually according to weather patterns, as is the case for any commodity, whether it is GM or not.   The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) has some very good statistical data on canola production (   For the 15 year period from 1996-2010, the CCC provides estimates of the percentages of the various herbicide (HT) tolerant canola varieties and conventional canola. [...]

GMOs & Farmers How GMOs Are Made Crop protectants


Q: what drives the GMO market globally?

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - May 08, 2015

A: 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 [...]

GMOs & Farmers Crop protectants