Keywords: agricultural biotechnology, genetically engineered crops, GM crops, genetically modified crops, socioeconomic impact, social welfare, biosafety protocols, labour markets, non–pecuniary factors, lower prices, small farmers, developing countries, health improvements, education improvements, debt repayment, maternal care services, food security
The socio–economic impacts of currently commercialised genetically engineered crops
A substantial and growing body of literature now exists on the socio–economic impacts of genetically engineered (GE) crops. While the bulk of literature has focused on the primary impacts of commercialised GE technology, in terms of changes in yields, costs and profitability, researchers have increasingly addressed a range of additional questions such as the distribution of impacts across groups, as well as secondary impacts on labour markets, non–pecuniary factors and social welfare. This review summarises the results of the literature on this broader set of socio–economic impacts. The primary findings include: adopters receive a substantial share of the benefits; consumers are also shown to benefit from increased production leading to lower prices; small farmers in developing countries are benefiting from GE crop technology; adopters report improvements in health, education, debt repayment, maternal care services and food security.