The human health benefits from GM crops

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Abstract or Summary

Genetically modified (GM) crops represent the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture, having now reached 25 years of commercial production. Grown by millions of farmers, many in developing countries, the technology is providing significant economic and environmental benefits, such as reductions in chemical use of 37%, increased yields of 22% and improved farm profits of 68% (Klümper and Qaim, 2014). While knowledge and awareness of these benefits are increasingly communicated, less well known are the benefits that GM crops are providing to humans and human health.

From an adoption percentage, countries with highly industrialized, large‐scale agricultural production are the significant benefactors. Production in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada and the USA accounts for the majority of global GM crop acreage, with farmers in these five countries capturing the majority of the economic and environmental benefits. Conversely, because of the lack of mechanized agricultural production, it is the small landholder farmers in developing countries that accrue the majority of the human health benefits.

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