Food prices could rise by more than 2% and greenhouse gas emissions would increase substantially according to a paper to be presented at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting in Boston next week.
The production and use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) is one of the most controversial agricultural topics worldwide.
The European Union, for example, doesn’t allow importing GMO corn and soybeans. In the U.S., on the other hand, FDA regulates GMOs and USDA indicates GMO use results in “benefits to farmers, producers, and consumers.” EPA also regulates greenhouse gases linked to GMO production.
Despite those benefits there are many groups that believe GMOs have no business in farm fields and grocery stores.
“There are people that would like to ban GMOs,” said Wally Tyner, a Purdue University economist. “We wanted to see what the result of a ban would be when it comes to food prices and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”
Tyner will discuss his findings as part of the 2016 AAEA Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 9:45 a.m. at Boston’s Marriott Copley Square, in Salon A on the fourth floor. Tyner’s paper is titled “Evaluating the Economic and Environmental Impacts of a Global GMO Ban.”
An abstract from the paper concludes:
“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.”