Farmer’s choice of seeds in four EU countries under different levels of GM crop adoption
Researcher Angelika Hilbeck at the Institute of Integrative Biology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology looked into the agricultural seed catalogues available to farmers in countries with different degrees of GM crop adoption (Austria, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland). She and her colleagues estimated how much real-world choice in seeds maize farmers have in each of the countries. The results show that, between 1995 and 2011, in the countries that did not adopt GM crop (Austria, Germany and Switzerland), actual restrictions and regulations of GM crops have not decreased seed choices/cultivar availability for farmers. In contrast, they observed that in Spain, which has adopted GM maize, the seed market was more concentrated with fewer differentiated cultivars on offer: the overall number of maize cultivars declined. The research also plotted the yields over the time period only to note that there was no reduction in yields in non-adopting countries.
(Environmental Sciences Europe 2013, 25:12 doi:10.1186/2190-4715-25-12)
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