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BioPerspectives

News from BIO-- Environmentally Stable Agriculture

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  • John Sterling

A number of attendees at BIO 2009 mentioned the release of a new "Global Impact Study" on agbiotech. The report was produced by PG Economics, which is based in the U.K.[pg} The key message was that farmers on a global basis are growing more crops via environmentally sustainable agbiotech techniques.

"The Global Impact Study shows that agricultural biotechnology contributes to both environmental and exonomic sustainability," noted Sharon Bomer Lauristen, executive vp for food and agriculture for BIO.

"A record 13.3 million farmers in 25 countries are using agricultural biotechnology," added Graham Brookes, director of PG Economics and co-author of the report, which can be downloaded in full at www.pgeconomics.co.uk

"The farmers are seeing increased yields and improved productivity, and they are enjoying gains in income as a result."

According to the study, the use of biotech crops has helped environmental sustainability by reducing the release of greenhouse gases from farming practices and by lessening the need for pesticide spraying.

The Global Impact Study goes on to point out that the use of biotech crops has made a huge impact on economic sustainability by providing substantial net economic benefits at the level of the farm amounting to $10.1 billion in 2007 and $44.1 billion from 1996 through 2007.