The use of GM crops in developing countries


Published 28/12/2003

GMCII front cover
Wheat 2

This discussion paper is a follow-up to the Council’s 1999 report on GM crops.

With a particular focus on developing countries, the paper reviews the scientific evidence, socio-economic trends, and developments in policy, trade and regulation.

The discussion paper concluded:

  • The use of GM crops, in appropriate circumstances,can have considerable potential for improving agriculture and the livelihood of poor farmers in developing countries.
  • The possible costs, benefits and risks associated with particular GM crops can only be assessed on a case by case basis. It is important to ask the question:how does the use of a GM crop compare to other alternatives?
  • There is an ethical obligation to explore the potential of GM crops responsibly. We therefore recommend that research into GM crops be sustained, and especially directed towards the needs of small-scale farmers in developing countries.