To contribute to a more informed debate on GMOs, the contributors to this briefing paper have conducted a pilot survey among scientists and farmers to assess:
- The need for GM crops in the EU
- Experiences of farmers who use GM crops and of farmers who are not allowed to do so
- Experiences of public sector scientists developing and testing GMOs.
To assess the need for GM crops in the EU, the survey evaluated:
- key crops grown in the different countries, and major constraints faced by farmers in growing these crops, such as pests, diseases, drought, etc.
- for each of these constraints, the following aspects were addressed:
- The consequences of these constraints, for example as a percentage of yield loss
- Current management practices, such as pesticide use
- Relevant biotechnological research in the public sector in the country, including a description of the research, the current status and contact points.
This pilot survey was conducted among farmers’ organisations and public sector research institutes in 12 EU Member States.
Per country a summary was prepared outlining key agricultural crops grown in the country (based on acreage and value), including major challenges faced by farmers in growing these crops. A brief (and by no means exhaustive) snap shot of the on-going and planned public sector biotechnology research aimed at addressing these challenges was outlined.