Letter. The human health benefits from GM crops (Plant Biotech J)

If you’ve ever spoken publicly about GM crops, you’ve probably heard people express concern about how eating GM crops might affect their health. Smyth lays out a positive case for the human health benefits of GM crops, which will be a useful resource for science communicators. Here he focuses on the benefits to the smallholder farmers mainly in developing countries whose exposure to pesticides has been greatly diminished by adopting Bt-expressing crops, particularly cotton and brinjal (eggplant). He also points to the adoption of GM crops as contributing to improved yields and profit, helping to reduce the incidence of farmer stress and suicides, and decreasing consumer exposure to cancer-causing mycotoxins. Greater economic security for farmers also means better nutrition for them and their families. Ultimately, nutrient-enhanced crops will be available for additional benefits. This letter raises the important point that choosing to avoid GM crops is fine for the wealthy, but access to them has real benefits to the world’s poor. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Biotech. J. 10.1111/pbi.13261. Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay