ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

14 December 2001


Below are details on how to get more information on the new Chuck Benbrook report on Bt Corn's poor economics. See also the excerpt from a press release attacking the report from the fiercely pro-GM National Corn Growers Association.

According to the NCGA, "Economics rule in corn production and U.S. growers wouldn't use a technology that doesn't give a positive return on investment". This is hardly a scientific perspective!

Producer estimates are notoriously inaccurate. For instance, a 1998 opinion poll of approximately 800 farmers in Iowa, carried out by the Leopold Centre at Iowa State University, revealed that most (53%) chose [GE] RR beans because they thought they produced higher yields than non-GM varieties. But when actual data from their farms was analysed the opposite was found. "It is interesting to note....that increasing crop yields was cited by over half the farmers as the reason for planting GMO soybeans, yet yields were actually lower", reported the Leopold Centre researchers.

for more on the Nebraska study:


Executive Summary and four page abbreviated version of the report, 'When Does It Pay To Plant Bt Corn? Farm-Level Economic Impacts of Bt Corn, 1996-2001: A Special Report for IATP by Dr. Charles M. Benbrook, is posted on the IATP website:

Access the full report containing 14 tables and a summary description of the methodology used to estimate Btcorn costs and benefits as a pdf:

The 'Technical Report' with 23 tables, detailed description of the methodology and appendix tables will be available December 15th on the biotech-info network website:


December 13, 2001
From a press release [via Agnet - shortened]

ST. LOUIS  -- The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) rejects the conclusion of an analysis released today by Benbrook Consulting Services claiming that corn developed with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has hurt rather than helped U.S. farm income.

Economics rule in corn production and U.S. growers wouldn't use a technology that doesn't give a positive return on investment, noted Leon Corzine, Assumption, Ill., farmer and chairman of the NCGA Biotech Working Group.

"U.S. corn producers are very attuned to costs and revenues and the bottom line.  About 18 percent of corn farmers in the U.S. chose to plant Bt corn this past year.  It is ridiculous and downright insulting to assume that we would make that decision without having clearly weighed the costs and benefits," said Corzine.

NCGA has long stated that biotech hybrids are one tool that corn producers have at their disposal, Corzine continued.  "Individual farmers decide whether it makes sense in their operations," he explained.  "It is not appropriate nor effective in all corn production situations."

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