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Realized and potential global production effects from genetic engineering

Daniel Scheitrum (), K. Aleks Schaefer and Kjersti Nes

Food Policy, 2020, vol. 93, issue C

Abstract: Realized production impacts of genetic engineering (GE) are bounded by (i) restrictions on cultivation in many countries and (ii) economic constraints to adoption in regions where the technology is approved. In this paper, we use econometric modeling to gauge the long-run production impacts to date attributable to currently commercialized GE crops and traits. We then assess the achievable production impacts from relaxing regulatory constraints and increasing farm-level adoption. We estimate that global production of commercialized GE crops has generated approximately $57 billion in farm-gate revenues in 2016. The technology has increased the global supply of soybeans and maize by 13% and 11%, respectively, in addition to smaller impacts for several other important staple crops. However, the current value of genetic engineering is less than half that which could be achieved by science-based regulation of the technology. Holding constant current farm-level GE adoption rates, the increased production achievable through widespread approval could generate an additional $65 billion, the majority of which would accrue to the developing world.

Keywords: Genetic engineering; Agricultural development; Technology adoption; Global food security (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O33 Q11 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101882

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