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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2019-05-29 20:50 UTC (cjg072@mail.usask.ca)
Date of publication
2019-07-04 20:15 UTC (austein.mcloughlin@cbd.int)

General Information
The Unintended Consequences of Technological Change: Winners and Losers from GM Technologies and the Policy Response in the Organic Food Market
Stuart Smyth, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Canada;, William Kerr, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Canada;, Peter W. B. Phillips, Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Author’s contact information
E-Mail: stuart.smyth@usask.ca
Tel.: +1-306-966-2929
Fax: +1-306-966-8413
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents
It is often said that innovations create winners and losers. All innovations are somewhat disruptive, but some have more distributed effects. We have a sense of who the winners are and how much they gain. Yet, how much do losers actually lose? Organic farmers frequently like to publicly announce that they are the losers following the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops, yet consumers in search of non-GM products have helped increase demand for organic products, something that would not have occurred in the absence of GM crops. Are organic farmers really losers? This article lays out the argument that were it not for the commercialization of GM crop varieties in the mid-1990s, organic production and food sectors would not be at the level they enjoy today. That is, the commercialization of GM crops has made the organic industry better off than had GM crops not been commercialized. Theoretical modelling of the organic benefits is complemented by supportive market data. The article concludes that in spite of numerous vocal offerings about the adverse impacts suffered by the organic industry due to GM crop production, the organic industry has gained significantly from that which they vociferously criticize.
Thematic areas
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
ISSN 2071-1050; DOI:10.3390/su7067667
Publisher and its location
MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland
17 pages
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7667-7683; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7067667
Keywords and any other relevant information
Coexistence, GM crops, labelling, social welfare, socio-economic considerations, spill-over benefits