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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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Showing 10 out of 24 results

Question

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 [...]

Environment Health & Safety

Question

Q: If their was no GMOS or chemicals in our foods would our food prices be lower or higher ???

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Jul 30, 2015

A: Without the use of chemicals in the production of crops as well as the innovation of GM crops, food prices would definitely be higher than they are presently. Organic crops are produced using few chemicals and they yield about 65 percent of what a conventional crop yields. By comparison, GM crops yield 22 percent above that of conventional crops, according to a meta-analysis* released last year. Weeds are incredibly competitive for water and nutrient resources, resulting in lower yields in all crops. GM crops offer better weed control than both conventional and organic crops, hence the higher [...]

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Jul 30, 2015

A: Without the use of chemicals in the production of crops as well as the innovation of GM crops, food prices would definitely be higher than they are presently. Organic crops are produced using few chemicals and they yield about 65 percent of what a conventional crop yields. By comparison, GM crops yield 22 percent above that of conventional crops, according to a meta-analysis* released last year. Weeds are incredibly competitive for water and nutrient resources, resulting in lower yields in all crops. GM crops offer better weed control than both conventional and organic crops, hence the higher [...]

Labeling

Question

Q: If their was no GMOS or chemicals in our foods would our food prices be lower or higher ???

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Jul 30, 2015

A: Without the use of chemicals in the production of crops as well as the innovation of GM crops, food prices would definitely be higher than they are presently. Organic crops are produced using few chemicals and they yield about 65 percent of what a conventional crop yields. By comparison, GM crops yield 22 percent above that of conventional crops, according to a meta-analysis* released last year. Weeds are incredibly competitive for water and nutrient resources, resulting in lower yields in all crops. GM crops offer better weed control than both conventional and organic crops, hence the higher [...]

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Jul 30, 2015

A: Without the use of chemicals in the production of crops as well as the innovation of GM crops, food prices would definitely be higher than they are presently. Organic crops are produced using few chemicals and they yield about 65 percent of what a conventional crop yields. By comparison, GM crops yield 22 percent above that of conventional crops, according to a meta-analysis* released last year. Weeds are incredibly competitive for water and nutrient resources, resulting in lower yields in all crops. GM crops offer better weed control than both conventional and organic crops, hence the higher [...]

Labeling

Question

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 [...]

Health & Safety Other

Question

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 (http://www.canolacouncil.org/markets-stats/statistics/).   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. [...]

By Community Manager - 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 (http://www.canolacouncil.org/markets-stats/statistics/).   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

Question

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 [...]


Question

Q: Why did the US want to leverage trade pressure on the EU for not supporting GMO crops as referenced in The Guardian 2011?

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - May 11, 2018

A: The origins of this question go back 20 years. In 1998, the European Union announced it would put a moratorium on the importing of GM crops starting in June 1999, arguing that risk assessments had either not been done correctly or not done to a sufficient scope as to determine the safety of GM crops. Risk assessments are a science-based process that have been standardized and globally accepted, so this argument was not supported by scientific evidence. Argentina, Canada and the USA were the leading GM crop producing countries at this time, so they filed a case with the World Trade Organizatio [...]

Business Practices

Question

Q: who need more gmos, the people or industry?

Answered By Michiel van Lookeren Campagne - Sep 04, 2015

A: In the agriculture industry, our customers are farmers. We innovate to provide solutions for unmet farmer needs. The most important farmer need is yield, as that translates directly into revenue for the farmer.    As for any business, the grower wants to maximize revenue and reduce costs. Farm profitability is the balance between investment in maximizing yield through the adoption of novel seed varieties, fertilizer, crop protection chemicals, fertilizer and enhanced agronomic practices, and the price he/she gets for the crop. As an industry, we provide farmers with innovations th [...]

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Oct 07, 2015

A:   GMOs benefit everyone, consumers, farmers and the companies that produce them. I’ve included a table that identifies how the benefits are estimated to be distributed between the three different groups, for each of the four main crops that are GM.      Crop     Farmer benefits     Company benefits     Consumer benefits       Canola     43% [...]

Business Practices GMOs & Farmers Other

Question

Q: Suppose theres a country that completely unable to supply their own food selfsufficiency it wont be damaged by GMO, however, if theres a country that can supply their own food in some degree, which allows its farmers to inpour GMO, wont it damage the coun

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Dec 16, 2015

A: If a country doesn’t produce enough food to be self-sufficient, adopting GM crops that increase crop yields will be a good thing for that country as it will increase the total amount of food produced.    Canada and the United States are examples of countries that are self-sufficient in food production and have adopted GM crops. If a country is self-sufficient in terms of food production, then adopting GM crops will result in more food production. This country could then export the food that it doesn’t consume and receive money to buy more of the products it doesn&rsquo [...]

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Dec 16, 2015

A: If a country doesn’t produce enough food to be self-sufficient, adopting GM crops that increase crop yields will be a good thing for that country as it will increase the total amount of food produced.    Canada and the United States are examples of countries that are self-sufficient in food production and have adopted GM crops. If a country is self-sufficient in terms of food production, then adopting GM crops will result in more food production. This country could then export the food that it doesn’t consume and receive money to buy more of the products it doesn&rsquo [...]

Environment Health & Safety

Question

Q: Suppose theres a country that completely unable to supply their own food selfsufficiency it wont be damaged by GMO, however, if theres a country that can supply their own food in some degree, which allows its farmers to inpour GMO, wont it damage the coun

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Dec 16, 2015

A: If a country doesn’t produce enough food to be self-sufficient, adopting GM crops that increase crop yields will be a good thing for that country as it will increase the total amount of food produced.    Canada and the United States are examples of countries that are self-sufficient in food production and have adopted GM crops. If a country is self-sufficient in terms of food production, then adopting GM crops will result in more food production. This country could then export the food that it doesn’t consume and receive money to buy more of the products it doesn&rsquo [...]

Answered By Dr. Stuart Smyth - Dec 16, 2015

A: If a country doesn’t produce enough food to be self-sufficient, adopting GM crops that increase crop yields will be a good thing for that country as it will increase the total amount of food produced.    Canada and the United States are examples of countries that are self-sufficient in food production and have adopted GM crops. If a country is self-sufficient in terms of food production, then adopting GM crops will result in more food production. This country could then export the food that it doesn’t consume and receive money to buy more of the products it doesn&rsquo [...]

Environment Health & Safety