Comprehensive Studies on the Social Impacts of GM Crops Seriously Lacking
A review of 99 peer-reviewed journal articles published since 2004 on the social impacts of GM crops has been done, summarising current knowledge and identifying research gaps, with the aim of determining the current state of knowledge in order to contribute to a more evidence-based and less polarised dialogue on GM crops in agriculture.
The review found that very few studies took a comprehensive view of the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture. The literature was dominated by studies on economic impacts which presented a more positive picture of the role of GM crops in socially sustainable agriculture than was warranted. The review showed that economic impacts for different groups of farmers were in fact very mixed and that the political and regulatory context had significant impact on the ability of different groups of farmers in different locations to benefit. In addition, while wellbeing was frequently discussed, it was rarely studied and cultural heritage and farm level risk from GM crops were rarely covered.
Another finding was that the way in which GM crops were governed today reinforced market dominance by private industry and particularly reduced the possibilities for GM crops to benefit poorer and more marginalised farmers. In addition, there was a clear lack of knowledge regarding the social impacts of GM crops on farmers in the Global North. Existing literature focused almost exclusively on farming in the Global South.
Moreover, the review found that two-thirds of publications are based on previously published empirical evidence, indicating a need for new empirical investigations into the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture.
The Abstract, Discussions and Conclusions of the paper are reproduced below.
With best wishes
SOCIAL IMPACTS OF GM CROPS IN AGRICULTURE: A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW
It has recently been argued that the fragmented knowledge on the social impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops is contributing to the polarised debate on the matter. This paper addresses this issue by systematically reviewing 99 peer-reviewed journal articles published since 2004 on the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture; summarising current knowledge, and identifying research gaps. Economic impact studies currently dominate the literature and mainly report that GM crops provide economic benefits for farmers. Other social impacts are less well studied, but present a more complex picture. Studies on access to and benefits of GM crops show that these vary significantly depending on the political and regulatory setting. Substantial evidence indicates that intellectual property rights (IPR) and the private industry’s dominance limit the access and utility of available GM crops to many farmers. Wellbeing is frequently discussed in the literature, but rarely investigated empirically. Existing evidence is contradictory and inconclusive. Impact studies from the Global North are virtually non-existent. Moreover, two-thirds of publications are based on previously published empirical evidence, indicating a need for new empirical investigations into the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture.
Etiquetas: en, Third World Network