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Friday, 15 April 2011

EC publishes report on socio-economic aspects of GMO cultivation in Europe

A new European Commission report demonstrates the current limitations in assessing the socio-economic implications of cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in the European Union. Specifically, the report to the European Parliament and the Council, which is based on information principally provided by Member States, reveals that the existing information is often statistically limited and that it is frequently based on already preconceived ideas about GMO cultivation. [...] In the report, the Commission also presents an analysis of the socio-economic dimensions of GMO cultivation as reported in the international scientific literature and in the conclusions of research projects funded under the European Framework Programme for Research.  Since the EU represents only a fraction of the worldwide surface dedicated to GM crops, the experience with GMO cultivation in Europe is admittedly limited. It is, therefore, no surprise that the amount of statistically relevant information on the ex-post socio-economic impacts of GMO cultivation is rather limited. The economic data specific to the European paradigm concerned studies in Member States with experience in cultivation of herbicide-tolerant (HT) or pest-resistant (Bt) GM crops. These studies showed that, when the weed or pest pressure is high, farmers cultivating HT and Bt GM crops could benefit from higher yields. In the report, social consequences and economic impacts of GMO cultivation on the other parts of the food chain were subject to significant comments. To complement the input by Member States, the report also provides a review of the existing international scientific literature on the social and economic dimension of GMO cultivation.

Source: European Commission