There are currently 402 studies in the GENERA database.

Advanced Search

General Information

Document type
  • Peer-reviewed journal article
GE organism
  • cotton, rice
GE trait
  • insect resistance
  • quality
  • Germany


  • positive effect
Safety for consumption
  • positive effect

Benefits of genetically modified crops for the poor: household income, nutrition, and health Review Article Open Access

Qaim, M
New Biotechnology. 2010 November. 27(5):552–557

Link to full text (open access, freely available)

PMID: 20643233 DOI: 10.1016/j.nbt.2010.07.009 ISSN: 1871-6784


The potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops on income, poverty and nutrition in developing countries continue to be the subject of public controversy. Here, a review of the evidence is given. As an example of a first-generation GM technology, the effects of insect-resistant Bt cotton are analysed. Bt cotton has already been adopted by millions of small-scale farmers, in India, China, and South Africa among others. On average, farmers benefit from insecticide savings, higher effective yields and sizeable income gains. Insights from India suggest that Bt cotton is employment generating and poverty reducing. As an example of a second-generation technology, the likely impacts of beta-carotene-rich Golden Rice are analysed from an ex ante perspective. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious nutritional problem, causing multiple adverse health outcomes. Simulations for India show that Golden Rice could reduce related health problems significantly, preventing up to 40,000 child deaths every year. These examples clearly demonstrate that GM crops can contribute to poverty reduction and food security in developing countries. To realise such social benefits on a larger scale requires more public support for research targeted to the poor, as well as more efficient regulatory and technology delivery systems.


benefits, insecticide, poverty, Golden Rice, biofortification


Funding source
  • Georg-August University of Göttingen
Funding country
  • Germany
Funding type
  • government

Links to outside analysis of this resource

Please contact us if you know of an independent summary or analysis of this resource.

Cite this study


Qaim, M. "Benefits of genetically modified crops for the poor: household income, nutrition, and health." New Biotechnology 27.5 (2010): 552–557. Web. 22 Jun. 2024.


Qaim, M. (2010). Benefits of genetically modified crops for the poor: household income, nutrition, and health. New Biotechnology, 27(5), 552–557. doi:10.1016/j.nbt.2010.07.009

Please verify citations before use, citations are automatically generated based on information stored within the GENERA database and therefore may or may not be correct.