Evaluating the Economic and Environmental Impacts of a Global GMO Ban

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Abstract or Summary

The objective of this research is to assess the global economic and greenhouse gas emission
impacts of GMO crops. This is done by modeling two counterfactual scenarios and evaluating
them apart and in combination. The first scenario models the impact of a global GMO ban. The
second scenario models the impact of increased GMO penetration. The focus is on the price and
welfare impacts, and land use change greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with GMO
technologies. Much of the prior work on the economic impacts of GMO technology has relied on
a combination of partial equilibrium analysis and econometric techniques. However, Computable
General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling is a way of analyzing economy-wide impacts that takes into
account the linkages in the global economy. Though it has been used in the context of GMO crops,
the focus has been on the effects of various trade policies and regulatory regimes. Here the goal is
to contribute to the literature on the benefits of GMO technology by estimating the impacts on
price, supply and welfare. Food price impacts range from an increase of 0.27% to 2.2%, depending
on the region. Total welfare losses associated with loss of GMO technology total up to $9.75
billion. The loss of GMO traits as an intensification technology has not only economic impacts,
but also environmental ones. The full environmental analysis of GMO is not undertaken here.
Rather we model the land use change owing to the loss of GMO traits and calculate the associated
increase in GHG emissions. We predict a substantial increase in GHG emissions if GMO
technology is banned.

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