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who benefits from gm crops: feeding the biotech giants, not the world's poor

Our February 2009 report, part of the annual Who Benefits from GM Crop series, looks behind the spin and exposes the reasons why GM crops cannot contribute to poverty reduction, global food security or sustainable farming.

Biotechnology proponents claim that genetically modified (GM) crops are good for consumers, farmers and the environment, and that they are growing in popularity around the world. Yet the industry’s claims are seldom analyzed or verified. Since 2006, Friends of the Earth International has released an annual publication, which scrutinizes the biotech industry’s data and looks at the ongoing impact of GM crops.


The industry has aggressively touted GM as a solution to hunger and the global food crisis. Friends of the Earth’s 2009 report, “Who Benefits from GM Crops? Feeding the biotech giants, not the world’s poor” looks behind the spin and finds that biotech crops are benefiting biotech food giants instead of small farmers and the world’s hungry population, which due to the food crisis is projected to increase to 1.2 billion by the year 2025. These findings support a comprehensive United Nations assessment of world agriculture in 2008, which concluded that GM crops have very little potential to alleviate poverty and hunger.


The report also reveals the failure of genetically modified crops around the world, and how statistics showing their increase in Europe have been manipulated. These misleading numbers are used by companies to make genetically modified farming appear more widespread than it really is. In reality public opposition and safety-conscious European governments mean that planting of GM crops in Europe has decreased every year since 2005 with an overall drop of 35 per cent.


The report received widespread media coverage, and has been downloaded almost 5,000 times.

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