Impact of insect-resistant GM rice on pesticide use and farmers’ health in China

Abstract

The economic benefits of insect-resistant genetically modified (GM) crops have been well documented, but the impact of such crops and the consequent reduction in pesticide use on farmers’ health remains largely unknown. Through the analysis of the data collected from the physical examination from farmers in China, we show that GM rice significantly reduces pesticide use and the resultant not only visible but also invisible adverse effects on farmers’ neurological, hematological, and electrolyte system. Hence, the commercialization of GM rice is expected to improve the health of farmers in developing countries, where pesticide application is necessary to mitigate crop loss.

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Correspondence to JiKun Huang or FangBin Qiao.

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Huang, J., Hu, R., Qiao, F. et al. Impact of insect-resistant GM rice on pesticide use and farmers’ health in China. Sci. China Life Sci. 58, 466–471 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11427-014-4768-1

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Keywords

  • pesticide use
  • farmers
  • health
  • genetically modified rice
  • insect-resistance