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Social Impacts of GM Crops in Agriculture: A Systematic Literature Review

Author

Listed:
  • Klara Fischer

    () (Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7012, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden)

  • Elisabeth Ekener-Petersen

    () (Department of Environmental Strategies Research, KTH–Royal Institute of Technology, Drottning Kristinas vag 30 III, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden)

  • Lotta Rydhmer

    () (Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7023, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden)

  • Karin Edvardsson Björnberg

    () (Division of Philosophy, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Brinellvagen 32, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden)

Abstract

It has recently been argued that the fragmented knowledge on the social impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops is contributing to the polarised debate on the matter. This paper addresses this issue by systematically reviewing 99 peer-reviewed journal articles published since 2004 on the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture; summarising current knowledge, and identifying research gaps. Economic impact studies currently dominate the literature and mainly report that GM crops provide economic benefits for farmers. Other social impacts are less well studied, but present a more complex picture. Studies on access to and benefits of GM crops show that these vary significantly depending on the political and regulatory setting. Substantial evidence indicates that intellectual property rights (IPR) and the private industry’s dominance limit the access and utility of available GM crops to many farmers. Wellbeing is frequently discussed in the literature, but rarely investigated empirically. Existing evidence is contradictory and inconclusive. Impact studies from the Global North are virtually non-existent. Moreover, two-thirds of publications are based on previously published empirical evidence, indicating a need for new empirical investigations into the social impacts of GM crops in agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Klara Fischer & Elisabeth Ekener-Petersen & Lotta Rydhmer & Karin Edvardsson Björnberg, 2015. "Social Impacts of GM Crops in Agriculture: A Systematic Literature Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(7), pages 1-23, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:7:p:8598-8620:d:51994
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Klara Fischer & Camilla Eriksson, 2016. "Social Science Studies on European and African Agriculture Compared: Bringing Together Different Strands of Academic Debate on GM Crops," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-17, August.
    2. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9842-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Amaranta Herrero & Fern Wickson & Rosa Binimelis, 2015. "Seeing GMOs from a Systems Perspective: The Need for Comparative Cartographies of Agri/Cultures for Sustainability Assessment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(8), pages 1-24, August.
    4. Rosa Binimelis & Anne Ingeborg Myhr, 2016. "Inclusion and Implementation of Socio-Economic Considerations in GMO Regulations: Needs and Recommendations," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, January.
    5. Hidemichi Fujii & Kentaro Yoshida & Ken Sugimura, 2016. "Research and Development Strategy in Biological Technologies: A Patent Data Analysis of Japanese Manufacturing Firms," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-15, April.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:351:d:68057 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:62:d:61984 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social impact; Genetically Modified Organism (GMO); biotechnology; agriculture; farm; sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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