Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development
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Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.
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Chapter 44: Economic success but political failure? The paradox of GM crop s in developing countries

Terri Raney, Ademola A. Adenle and Ira Matuschke


Genetically modified (GM) crops have been rapidly adopted in many developed and developing countries, including by resource-poor farmers, since they were first commercialized in 1995. An extensive body of peer-reviewed economic literature confirms that farmers benefit from the cultivation of GM crops under a wide range of agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions and that the economy-wide welfare gains are shared among adopting farmers, consumers and technology suppliers. Despite the growing evidence of positive farm-level and economy-wide impacts, the commercialization of new crops and traits has been blocked at the final approval stage (after being cleared on biosafety grounds) in a number of countries, paradoxically in some countries where first-generation GM crops have been the most widely adopted. While European Union (EU) legislation provides for ex post monitoring and reporting on the socio-economic implications of the deliberate release and marketing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol provides for socioeconomic assessments of the deliberate release into the environment of living modified organisms (LMOs), very few countries explicitly consider ex ante socio-economic assessments in their regulatory decision-making processes for GMOs. Nevertheless, many countries do so implicitly. It has been suggested that the explicit incorporation of socio-economic assessments could facilitate the decision-making process for the commercialization of GM crops by separating the science-based, biosafety assessment from the political process of decision-making (Lusser et al., 2012).

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