Are GMOs increasing the price of food?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo!

Q: Are GMOs increasing the price of food?

Here at Monsanto Hawaii we are proud of the work we do and the important role we play in helping to feed the world. According to UN estimates, we will have to feed one billion more people in just ten years. In order to do that, we must find innovative solutions for increasing yield and making food more affordable for everyone.

While the cost of food is impacted by various factors (the price of oil affects transportation costs; temperature changes can cause drought; etc.), modern agricultural technologies, including GMOs, play an important role in keeping those prices as low as possible. It’s estimated that corn-based products would be priced 6 percent higher and soybean-based products would be 10 percent higher if GM crops were not grown, according to a 2010 study by Graham Brookes et al.

Key points from Graham’s study include:

  • "The [GM] technology adopted to date has largely been productivity-enhancing and cost-reducing technology. This means additional global production has arisen from use of the technology, equal to an extra 122 million tons of soybeans, 237 million tons of corn, 18 million tons of cotton lint and 6.6 million tons of canola in the period 1996–2012.”
  • “[T]he real price of food and feed products has fallen consistently during the last 50 years. This has come about not ‘out of the blue’ but from enormous improvements in productivity by producers. These productivity improvements have arisen from the adoption of new technologies and techniques.”

Read Graham’s full response here.