Economic and Health Impacts of GM Crops in China, India, and South Africa

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1 Economic and Health Impacts of GM Crops in China, India, and South Africa Carl E. Pray Professor II Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics Department School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Rutgers University

2 What has Biotechnology Contributed to Small Farmers Welfare in Asia & Africa? Bt cotton production China 7 million small farmers India 5 million farmers Small numbers South Africa and Burkina Faso Bt maize production Bt yellow maize 200,000 small farmers in Philippines Bt white maize 1,000s of small farmers in South Africa RR maize production 1,000s of small farmers in South Africa Little impact on other major subsistence food crops such as rice and wheat

3 Today impacts on farmers based on three sets of studies Bt cotton in China Huang Jikun, Hu Ruifa, Scott Rozelle and number of CCAP and Rutgers students 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2007 Up to 500 farmers in northeast and central cotton zones India Bt cotton Bharat Ramaswamy, ISI, Delhi, N.Lalitha, Gujarat Institute of Development Research 2004 and farmers Gujarat and Maharashtra South Africa Bt and RR maize Marnus Gouse &Johann Kirsten U of Pretoria, John Rheeder, Medical Research Council of South Africa Colin Thirtle, Imperial College, London; Jenifer Piesse, King s College, London; and Colin Poulton, U. of London , 2006/07,2007/ farmers in KwaZulu Natal province Quality of data improved over time - more visits per year & larger samples

4 Summary of Insect Resistant Cotton Results Increased net income of small farms Either saving in pesticide use China Increased yields India Results vary by pest attack - When pesticide use reduced, farmers do not get sick as much Bollworms developing resistance? No empirical evidence in careful monitoring China In China evidence that bollworm population reduced with benefits to other crops such as maize and vegetables Secondary pests emerging because Bt adoption has reduced spraying of broad spectrum pesticides

5 Summary of Insect and Herbicide Tolerant Corn in Small Farms South Africa White corn in ZA is first major subsistence food crop Insect resistance Higher yields than conventional in years when stalk borer present but not so often in some villages Little change in insecticide use did not use much in conventional corn Reductions in exposure of rural consumers to mycotoxins which are associated with cancer and birth defects Herbicide tolerance - preliminary data Increased yields Small reduction in labor use

6 Bollworm Damage CK transgenic

7 Bt Cotton Spreads Rapidly in China

8 Yields Slightly Higher and Less Variable

9 Costs Down, Income Up (RMB/ha)

10 Pesticide Use Declines (Henan Villages )

11 Pesticide Poisonings Down

12

13

14 Unintended consequences of widespread Bt cotton adoption Bollworm populations in Northern China have dramatically declined in cotton, corn, soybeans and vegetables (Wu et al Science Sept 19, 2008) Bt cotton adoption is major determinant of decline Less damage & need to spray pesticides in these crops Bt cotton seems act as a trap crop No official refuge policy alternative hosts have acted as refuge Reduction in application of broad spectrum pesticides leads to increased damage from secondary pests Mirids an increasing problem in some areas leading to increased use of pesticides for these pests Total pesticide use still down

15 Source: Seed Industry

16 Major impact on yields

17 Pesticide Use Down Maharashtra

18 Pesticide Use Up in Gujarat 2007 (applications per plot)

19 Revenues, Cost Bt Cotton Gujarat 2004 (Rs/acre)

20 South Africa Bt White Maize White maize is first GM subsistence crop in LDC Exports a major share of maize mature country in first generation traits Bt and RR cotton Bt yellow and white maize RR yellow and white maize RR soybeans All from multinational corporations

21 Spread of GM Maize S.Africa (Area in ha)

22 Bt maize yields smallholders S.Africa 2001/02 relatively high stalk borer infestation 32% 2002/03 lower pressure = 16% in KZN (Hlabisa and Simdlangentsha) 2003/04 no borers - no benefit 2006/07 no borers no benefit 2007/08 high borer infestation major benefits

23 Impact of RR Maize on Smallholders Hlabisa 2006/7 Higher yields (means) and great total efficiency (stochastic frontier model) Modest reduction in labor use with RR (RR farmers also used minimum tillage which is labor intensive) Seed costs double, herbicide costs up from nothing to 600 Rand/ha. Gross margin (value output - cost of intermediate inputs) Rand 4738/ha RR Rand 1876/ha Bt Rand 1886/ha Conventional

24 Bt corn and mycotoxin reduction Insects primary cause of fungal disease on corn Primarily pre-harvest damage Kernel damage; insects as vectors European corn borers directly linked to mycotoxins on US experiment stations (Dowd 1998) Bt corn can reduce mycotoxins Less insect pest damage Less opportunity for growth of fungus

25 Fumonisin: Health effects 1988 discovery: drought year - horse deaths Produced by Fusarium verticillioides, F. proliferatum Postulated human health effects Oesophageal cancer: statistically associated with fumonisin in maize in Eastern Cape Neural tube defects: high levels in E. Cape & Limpopo but no statistical association yet Animal effects Equine leukoencephalomalacia (disease of central nervous system) Porcine pulmonary edema (heart disease) Liver, kidney cancer in rodents

26 Fumonisin levels (ng/g or ppb) in maize in rural KwaZulu-Natal during

27 Potential Reduction of Exposure to Fumonisin if Bt Maize Adopted Safe levels WHO-FAO 2 µg per kg of body weight per day

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