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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Colin A. Carter, GianCarlo Moschini and Ian Sheldon

The application of modern biotechnology to crop and food production is one of the most significant technological advances to impact modern agriculture. Barely a dozen…

Abstract

The application of modern biotechnology to crop and food production is one of the most significant technological advances to impact modern agriculture. Barely a dozen years since their introduction, genetically modified (GM) crops are currently grown on more than 300 million acres worldwide. GM (or transgenic) crops are produced using plant biotechnology to select desirable characteristics in plants and transfer genes from one organism to another. As a result, crops can survive under harsher conditions, costs are lowered, and yields are improved. Scientists are introducing genes into plants that will give the plants resistance to herbicides, insects, disease, drought, and salt in the soil. Crop research in bioengineering is also aimed at improving the nutritional quality of food, such as providing healthier vegetable oils. Pharmaceutical and industrial crops (or “pharma” crops) are also on the horizon, with the potential to dramatically reduce drug production costs. Compared to traditional plant breeding, biotechnology can produce new varieties of plants more quickly and efficiently, and it can introduce desirable traits into plants that could not be established through conventional plant breeding techniques.

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Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Volker Beckmann, Claudio Soregaroli and Justus Wesseler

Two major regulatory regimes for planting of genetically modified (GM) crops have emerged: one where the property rights for growing GM crops are mainly with the GM farmer…

Abstract

Two major regulatory regimes for planting of genetically modified (GM) crops have emerged: one where the property rights for growing GM crops are mainly with the GM farmer and another where the property rights are mainly with the non-GM farmer. In this contribution, the regulatory model chosen by Canada and the United States is compared with that of the EU and its variants, analyzed from an efficiency point of view. While the general view in the literature on ex-ante regulation versus ex-post liability rules under uncertainty holds that the most efficient regulatory regime depends on the specific case under investigation, we have investigated the analytical conditions for one or the other regulatory system to be more efficient, concluding that the property rights systems are almost equivalent, so long as transaction costs are not prohibitively high and using the court system is costless. As using the court system is not cost free, however, we hold that property rights regimes where the GM farmer is not liable are preferable from a social welfare point of view.

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Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Wallace E. Huffman

Purpose – The objective of this chapter is to examine and provide new perspectives on the contributions of public and private R&D to biotech crop improvement.…

Abstract

Purpose – The objective of this chapter is to examine and provide new perspectives on the contributions of public and private R&D to biotech crop improvement.

Methodology/approach – The chapter examines a set of topics that have affected the way that research is undertaken on plant germplasm improvement and how it has changed with the genetically modified (GM) trait revolution.

Findings – Although the basic science providing the foundations for GM crops was undertaken in the public sector, GM traits and GM crop varieties have been developed almost exclusively by the private sector. The biotech events leading to GM traits are currently being developed largely by five companies – all having ties to both the chemical and the seed industries. The GM crop revolution started in North American in 1996 and has spread slowly to the largest developing countries that have large agricultural sectors, including Argentina, China, Brazil, and India, but not to Europe or Japan.

Practical implication – To shed new light on the economic reasons for private sector dominance in GM crop varietal development in selected crops but not in others.

Social implication – Shows how GM traits have contributed to technical change and declining real food prices.

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Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Justus Wesseler, Sara Scatasta and El Hadji Fall

The widespread introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops may change the effect of agriculture on the environment. The magnitude and direction of expected effects are…

Abstract

The widespread introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops may change the effect of agriculture on the environment. The magnitude and direction of expected effects are still being hotly debated, and the interests served in this discussion arena are often far from those of science and social welfare maximization. This chapter proposes that GM crops have net positive environmental effects, while regulatory responses focus mainly on environmental concerns, giving an unbalanced picture of the regulatory context. This unbalance supports the hypothesis that environmental concerns about GM crops have been politically instrumentalized and that more attention should be paid to regulatory responses considering the environmental benefits of this technology. It is also argued that a number of environmental effects have not yet been quantified and more research is needed in this direction.

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Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2019

Samuel Ayofemi Olalekan Adeyeye and Folake Idowu-Adebayo

In recent times, science and technology has taken a front seat in revolutionizing agricultural production and food processing globally with noticeable impact on food…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent times, science and technology has taken a front seat in revolutionizing agricultural production and food processing globally with noticeable impact on food, nutrition and family health. This study was carried out to have a critical review of genetically modified (GM) foods and the use of GM and biofortified crops for food security in developing countries where foods are not adequately available and people are not food secured.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical review of GM foods was undertaken and the use of GM and biofortified crops for food security in developing countries where foods are not adequately available and people are not food secured was carried out.

Findings

Currently, there are no recent patents on GM and biofortified crops and this shows that there are more works to be done by policymakers, regulatory agencies, consumers and right organizations on environmental, health and biosafety of GM and biofortified crops. Advances in science and technology have changed our relationship with nature which enables crops to be modified and improved through selective breeding to obtain more stronger and productive crops. However, despite the benefits and improvements from GM and biofortified crops, controversy and arguments have continued to trail the consumption of GM and biofortified crops because of the perceived safety issues. Although genetic engineering has helped in developing fast-growing and pest-resistant crops, as well as reduction in use of pesticides, however, its impact on the environment and the consumers cannot be overemphasized. In conclusion, this study showed that the role of GM and biofortified crops for food security is the subject of public controversy; however, genetic engineering has the potential to improve world food production, increase food availability and influence farmers’ income and thus their economic access to food but the attendance potential risks related to food safety and avoidable environmental hazards should not be overlooked. There is need for comprehensive information on the impact of GM and biofortified crops on environment, human health and biosafety of the crops.

Research limitations/implications

Few available literatures on the subject matter were critically reviewed.

Practical implications

The paper helps in creating awareness for more in-depth research on GM and biofortified crops and their impacts on food security in developing countries where foods are not adequately available and people are not food secured.

Originality/value

This research is of value to the researchers, policymakers and regulatory agencies in developing countries on food safety.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 49 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Matin Qaim

Purpose – The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of controversial debates. Consequently, policy-makers are unsure whether this…

Abstract

Purpose – The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of controversial debates. Consequently, policy-makers are unsure whether this technology is suitable for developing countries. This chapter reviews the scientific evidence.

Methodology/approach – Starting from a food security definition, potential pathways of how GM crops could contribute to hunger reduction are analyzed conceptually. Furthermore, studies about the socioeconomic impacts of GM crop applications are reviewed. This includes ex post studies for present applications such as insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant crops, as well as ex ante studies for future GM technologies such as Golden Rice and drought-tolerant varieties.

Findings – GM crops can raise agricultural productivity and thus contribute to better food availability. Especially when tailored to small farm conditions, GM crops can also cause income increases for the rural poor, entailing better access to food. Nutritionally enhanced, biofortified GM crops could reduce problems of micronutrient malnutrition in a cost-effective way.

Research limitations – The examples observable so far are still limited. Impacts also depend on the wider institutional setting. Like any technology, GM crops are not a substitute but a complement to much needed institutional and infrastructure improvement in developing countries.

Social implications – The fact that available GM crops already contribute to poverty reduction and improved food security has not been widely recognized up until now.

Value of paper – Results presented in this chapter can contribute to a more constructive public debate, in which GM crop risks are not discussed out of the context of actual and potential benefits.

Details

Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Terri Raney and Ira Matuschke

World agriculture faces enormous challenges in the coming decades. To feed the world adequately in 2050, agricultural production in developing economies will need to…

Abstract

World agriculture faces enormous challenges in the coming decades. To feed the world adequately in 2050, agricultural production in developing economies will need to nearly double. Incremental production will mainly come from increases in yields or cropping intensities. This chapter focuses on the potential of genetically modified (GM) crops to contribute to agricultural productivity growth and poverty reduction in developing economies. On the basis of a comprehensive literature review of the most recent literature, we aim to shed light on (a) whether GM crops benefit farmers in developing economies and (b) whether GM crops that are currently in the research pipeline address future challenges for agriculture. The first part of the chapter reviews farm-level impacts of GM crops in developing economies. The second part discusses the GM crop research pipeline. GM crop markets are expected to grow in the future but not to change dramatically. We conclude that GM crops benefited farmers, including resource-poor farmers, in developing economies, but benefits are location- and individual-specific. Addressing such complexities will be required to unlock technology potentials.

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Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

Joshua D. Detre, Hiroki Uematsu and Ashok K. Mishra

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impacts of GM crop adoption on the profitability of farms operated by young and/or beginning farmers and ranchers (YBFR).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impacts of GM crop adoption on the profitability of farms operated by young and/or beginning farmers and ranchers (YBFR).

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses weighted quantile regression analysis in conjunction with 2004‐2006 Agricultural Resource Management Survey to evaluate the impact of GM crop adoption on financial performance of farms operated by YBFR. The methodology employed in this study corrects for the simultaneity of technology adoption and farm financial performance.

Findings

As expected, the impact of GM crop adoption on profitability is positively affected by the scale of operation and leverage. On the other hand, off‐farm employment by “beginning” farmers has a negative impact on farm's profitability if they choose to adopt GM crops. Finally, quantile regression results from a farm household study shows that the model performs better at the higher quantile of the distribution.

Research limitations/implications

This study helps to determine whether the adoption of GM crops increases the profitability of farms operated by “beginning” farmers. In addition, it explores the impact of other factors (such as farm, operator, demographic, and financial characteristics) on the profitability of farms operated by “beginning” farmers.

Practical implications

Computing the profitability of adoption decisions for YBFR will provide significant information to YBFR that they can use in constructing their farm operations strategic business plan and future decisions regarding farming operations.

Originality/value

Existing research does not examine the impact of GM crops adoption on farm profitability of YBFR. Furthermore, YBFR operators face significant challenges in making their operations financially viable, owing to lack of access to capital and land.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 71 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

John G. Knight, Damien W. Mather and David K. Holdsworth

Many countries have held back from planting genetically modified (GM) food crops due to perceived negative reaction in export and domestic markets. Three lines of research…

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3990

Abstract

Purpose

Many countries have held back from planting genetically modified (GM) food crops due to perceived negative reaction in export and domestic markets. Three lines of research have tested the reality of this fear.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth interviews were conducted in European countries with key companies and organisations in the European food sector. Supermarket intercepts were used to ascertain purchasing intent for products from countries that do or do not produce GM crops. A purchasing experiment was conducted, where cherries labelled as GM, organic or conventional were on sale in a roadside stall.

Findings

Food distribution channel members expressed concern about possibility of contamination or mix‐up between GM and non‐GM food. However, presence of GM crops in a country does not cause negative perception of food in general from that country. Approximately 30 per cent of consumers in the purchasing experiment proved willing to purchase GM cherries when there was a defined consumer benefit – either lower price or spray‐free.

Practical implications

Countries that have not yet planted GM food crops need to be cautious about possible negative impacts on channel member perceptions of non‐GM versions of the same crop from the same country. However, planting GM crops does not appear likely to damage the overall reputation of a food‐supplying country. GM applications in non‐food areas seem unlikely to damage perceptions of country image in relation to supply of food products from that country.

Originality/value

Provides useful information for those planning to plant GM food crops.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 107 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

Grant E. Isaac, Nicholas Perdikis and William A. Kerr

Public and private policy responses to the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops have differed across countries and regions, resulting in market fragmentation…

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3043

Abstract

Public and private policy responses to the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops have differed across countries and regions, resulting in market fragmentation that is in conflict with the entry mode strategy of standardisation that has dominated the food distribution system for a century. To deal with the new market reality, an alternative entry mode strategy must be established which is capable of segregation – or identity preservation (IP) – of the commodity supply system. A multi‐mode strategy is presented that combines the economic transaction cost perspective with the institutional theory perspective. A seemingly paradoxical result emerges: standardisation is the solution to market differentiation. That is, an IP entry mode strategy must first be built on a foundation of standardised norms and protocols, which then makes it easier to target specific entry mode strategies to meet the divergent export market access rules resulting from the differential public policy and private strategies in various countries and regions.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 21 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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