CHOICES: Celebrating 30 Years of Relevance, 1986-2016


A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
Genetically Engineered Crops and U.S. Agricultural Sustainability

Genetically Engineered Crops and U.S. Agricultural Sustainability

Theme Overview: Genetically Engineered Crops and U.S. Agricultural Sustainability

David Ervin and Rick Welsh
Genetically engineered (GE) crops cover approximately half of U.S. cropland. Although delivering environmental and economic gains for adopting farmers, the long-term potential of the crops to foster sustainable agriculture remains controversial. We develop a set of principles that can guide GE crop development and deployment consistent with sustainable agriculture.

Environmental Opportunities and Challenges of Genetically-Engineered Crops

LaReesa Wolfenbarger, Micheal D. K. Owen, and Yves Carrière
Over the past 15 years of widespread adoption of genetically-engineered (GE) crop cultivars, herbicide-resistant crops have facilitated soil conservation practices and insect-resistant crops have reduced insecticide use. These trends may be in jeopardy without management of resistance in weeds and insects attributable to production practices of GE crops.

The Economic Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops

David Zilberman, Steve E. Sexton, Michele Marra, and Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo
Agricultural biotechnology has been adopted very quickly in some crops and banned in others. Its adoption has tended to increase yields and farm income, improve environmental performance, and reduce food prices. The distributional benefits vary among sectors. Tapping the potential of agricultural biotechnology will be affected by future research and regulation.

Social Equity and the Genetically Engineered Crops Controversy

Leland L. Glenna and Raymond A. Jussaume Jr.
The controversy over the sustainability of genetically engineered (GE) crops is perpetuated by the tendency of competing groups to define sustainable superficially. This paper examines the social equity issues in the GE controversy and considers the social structural changes needed to enable GE crops to contribute to sustainable agriculture.

Can Genetically Engineered and Organic Crops Coexist?

Catherine Greene and Katherine Smith
Consumer demand supports markets for products differentiated on the basis of GE status. Maintaining the integrity of those markets relies on interventions like physical distancing or product segregation. The cost required to support coexistence of all markets is borne disproportionately by producers and consumers of organic food in the United States.

What Drives Academic Bioscientists: Money or Values?

Sharmistha Nag, Hui Yang, Steven Buccola, and David Ervin
We surveyed U.S. academic bioscientists to analyze what factors affected their research programs related to GE crops. Industry, and to a lesser extent state and USDA, funding encourages applied over basic research. Industry sponsorship also leads to less molecular-level research. Surprisingly, professional norms have greater research impact than funding sources do.