Suppressing Growth: How GMO Opposition Hurts Developing Nations
The following is an excerpt of a study from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) by L. Val Giddings, Robert D. Atkinson, and J. John Wu on "Suppressing Growth: How GMO Opposition Hurts Developing Nations."
Campaigns against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), originating primarily in Europe, have created significant obstacles to the development and adoption of genetically modified crops. While the policies and practices resulting from these campaigns impose considerable costs on the economies of origin, they disproportionately hurt those nations with the greatest need for more productive agriculture—particularly the developing nations of sub-Saharan Africa. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) estimates that the current restrictive climate for agricultural biotech innovations could cost low- and lowermiddle-income nations up to $1.5 trillion in foregone economic benefits through 2050. In short, anti-GMO activists have erected significant barriers to the development of the poorest nations on earth.
Over the past three decades, a number of campaign groups have pressed successfully for restrictions or bans on the growth or import of crops and foods improved through biotechnology. Most recently, in October 2015, 19 European countries announced bans on growing GM crops, despite strong opposition from the scientific community.
ITIF estimates that the current restrictive climate for agricultural biotech innovations could cost low- and lower middle-income nations up to $1.5 trillion in foregone economic benefits through 2050.