New Study Shows Organic Farms Benefit From GM Crops

Organic_ProduceWho really benefits from the commercialization of GM crops? A new study reveals one of the biggest beneficiaries of the rise of GM technology in the last few decades is the organic farming industry.

Although this seems like an unlikely candidate, the study argues that organic producers would not be experiencing the level of success they currently enjoy without the prevalence of GM crops.

In a 2014 tracking study by the Organic Trade Association, more than 25% of parents surveyed said one of their top reasons for buying organic was to avoid eating GMOs. This number is up 16% from the same survey taken in 2013. Other buyers indicated that although avoiding GMOs was not their main reason for buying organic, it was certainly an important piece of package certified organic products provide.

According to the study, had GM crops been approved for organic farming, the organic industry would have lost 50% or more of its demand to non-GMO verified products raised with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. In other words, customers would have forgone other benefits of organic food, like using natural fertilizers and pesticides in lieu of organic, in favor of products that were GMO-free but grown in conventional farming systems.

Read the full study here: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/6/7667/htm

Smyth S, Kerr W, Phillips PWB. The Unintended Consequences of Technological Change: Winners and Losers from GM Technologies and the Policy Response in the Organic Food Market. Sustainability. 2015; 7(6):7667-7683.

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