Jun 13, 2017  |  Additional Research

We believe in the power of GM crops to help farmers in the fight for environment sustainability while improving the chances of a stable livelihood for farmers. On both sides of the GM debate, people want clear facts and proof, showing that this is possible. Below you will find a recent study from PG Economics,  UK-based "Independent and objective consultants servicing the agricultural, agricultural supply trade, rural and food industries" that presents findings on a global scale.

Here are some findings:

  • In 2015, the direct global farm income benefit from GM crops was $15.4 billion. The largest gains in farm income in 2015 have arisen in the maize sector, largely from yield gains.

  • In global terms, the farm level economic impact of using GM HT (Herbicide Tolerant) technology in maize was $1.79 billion in 2015 (63% of which was in the US). The additional farm income generated by the technology is equal to a value-added equivalent of 1.0% of global maize production.

  • The annual total US national farm income benefit from using GM IR (Bt Insect Resistance) technology in maize has risen from $13.54 million in 1996 to $2.17 billion in 2015. The cumulative farm income benefit over the 1996-2015 period (in nominal terms) was $23.24 billion. In global terms, the farm level impact of using GM IR maize was $3.36 billion in 2015. In terms of the total value of maize production from the countries growing GM IR maize in 2015, the additional farm income generated by the technology is equal to a value-added equivalent of 4.5%.

  • The main farm income impact of GM IR (Corn Rootworm CRW) maize has been higher yields of about 5% relative to conventional maize. At the national level, farm incomes increased by $1.05 billion in 2015. Cumulatively since 2003, the total farm income gain from the use of GM IR CRW technology in the US maize crop has been +$12.18 billion.

  • Since 1996, the use of pesticides on the GM crop area was reduced by 618.7 million kg of active ingredient (8.1% reduction), and the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops, as measured by the EIQ indicator, fell by18.6%.

  • Similarly, the use of GM IR technology in maize has led to important reductions in insecticide use (87.1 million kg of active ingredient), with associated environmental benefits.

  • The volume of herbicides used in GM maize crops also decreased by 226.3 million kg (1996-2015), an 8.4% reduction, whilst the overall environmental impact associated with herbicide use on these crops decreased by a significantly larger 12.7%.

  • In total, in 2015, the combined GM crop-related carbon dioxide emission savings from reduced fuel use and additional soil carbon sequestration were equal to the removal from the roads of 11.88 million cars, equivalent to 41% of all registered cars in the UK.

You can download the full study here.