Free download: Expert review on economics of GM crops

posted in: Syndicated | 5

An electronic review that contains high quality information about the economics of GM crops, including economics in developing countries, has become available with free access at Annual Reviews website. The pdf can be currently be downloaded (perhaps only for a limited time).

The Economics of Genetically Modified Crops by Matin Qaim of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Germany. Note: “The author is not aware of any affiliations, memberships, funding, or financial holdings that might be perceived as affecting the objectivity of this review.” The research was supported financially by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Genetically modified (GM) crops have been used commercially for more than 10 years. Available impact studies of insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant crops show that these technologies are beneficial to farmers and consumers, producing large aggregate welfare gains as well as positive effects for the environment and human health. The advantages of future applications could even be much bigger. Given a conducive institutional framework, GM crops can contribute significantly to global food security and poverty reduction.

Nonetheless, widespread public reservations have led to a complex system of regulations. Overregulation has become a real threat for the further development and use of GM crops. The costs in terms of foregone benefits may be large, especially for developing countries. Economics research has an important role to play in designing efficient regulatory mechanisms and agricultural innovation systems.

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David Tribe is an applied geneticist, teaching graduate/undergrad courses in food science, food safety, biotechnology and microbiology at the University of Melbourne.