The costs of staying GE-free

Publication - 26 January, 2010
Genetically engineered (GE) crops impose numerous extra costs on farmers and on the public (for productions, storage, and for meeting GE-avoidance regulations, which are mandated by consumer protection laws), while opinion surveys consistently show the public do not favour GE products.

Executive summary: Opinion polls around the world have repeatedly demonstrated that the majority of people are concerned about the safety of GE (genetically engineered) foods and expect that, if they are marketed, then they should be separated and labelled (Harris Poll (2004), European Commission (2001), Yomiyuri Shimbum (1997) etc). Thus, market, safety and political demands often require that GE crops and harvests be maintained separately from conventional ones. The burden on food production systems that stems from GE crops imposes economic costs on farmers, grain merchants, the food industry and ultimately, the public. In the broadest perspective, costs generated by GE crops are reflected in major grain markets. Since 2000, the Tokyo Grain Exchange has operated a futures market in non-GE soya. Non-GE soya futures consistently price higher than other soya contracts (TGE, 2009). This reflects both consumer demand for GE-free foods and the additional costs to conventional farmers of preventing contamination from GE soya.

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Number of pages: 2

See also:

Counting the Costs of Genetic Engineering - the report documents numerous case studies demonstrating the adverse environmental, economic and social impacts of genetic engineering, suggesting sustainable agricultural solutions instead.

GE Contamination Devastates Canadian Linseed Industry