Saturday, August 20, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
"GMOs in the US and in other countries, reduce significantly the use of rather toxic pesticide chemicals and there is evidence that they actually save significant amount of lives in India and China. "
"It is easy to show that if restrictions on the adoption of GMOs would have been removed and adoption rates of GM varieties in Europe would have been similar to the observed patterns of adoption, then much of the recent increase in commodity food prices would have been diminished. Introduction of GM varieties to wheat and rice would have further reduced commodity prices whereby helping the poor and would have released resources for other uses."
"The land use saving effect of GM varieties is estimated to have the equivalent effect of taking between 800,000-9 million passenger cars off of the road....The use of herbicide-tolerant varieties enable large scale adoption of low-tillage practices that sequester carbon and greenhouse gas sequestering effect is estimated to be equal to that of taking 6.4 million cars off the road."
"The heavy regulation of GMOs are unsound not only because of the loss of benefits from existing varieties, but because of the loss of potential benefits from newer applications of GMOs"
Sunday, August 14, 2011
The top 10% of earners earn about 33.5% of all income on the U.S. but pay 45.1% of taxes. They in essence pay 35% more in taxes than what they earn as a share of income.
There is also an interesting discussion on how these numbers are used and interpreted.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
By Colleen Haight. Stanford Social Innovation Review Summer 2011 link
My field and analytical research has found that there are distinct limitations to the Fair Trade model.7 Perhaps the most serious challenge is the extraordinarily high price of coffee. “The market today is five times higher than when FLO entered the United States. The market’s at $2.50 (per pound for commodity coffee) today vs. the 40 cents or 50 cents (per pound) it was at in 2001,” says Dennis Macray, former director of global sustainability at Starbucks Coffee Co. This price shift dampens farmers’ desire to sell their high-quality coffee at the Fair Trade price. Many co-ops, according to Macray, are choosing to default on the Fair Trade contracts, so that they can do better for their members by selling on the open market.
(HT to Knowledge Problem )
Monday, August 08, 2011
A case of the internalization of negative externalities via technological change and market forces w/o taxes or new regulations.
While substantial research on the productivity and profit effects of Bt cotton has been carried out recently, the economic evaluation of positive and negative externalities has received much less attention. Here, we focus on farmer health impacts resulting from Bt-related changes in chemical pesticide use. Previous studies have documented that Bt cotton has reduced the problem of pesticide poisoning in developing countries, but they have failed to account for unobserved heterogeneity between technology adopters and non-adopters. We use unique panel survey data from India to estimate unbiased effects and their developments over time. Bt cotton has reduced pesticide applications by 50%, with the largest reductions of 70% occurring in the most toxic types of chemicals. Results of fixed-effects Poisson models confirm that Bt has notably reduced the incidence of acute pesticide poisoning among cotton growers. These effects have become more pronounced with increasing technology adoption rates. Bt cotton now helps to avoid several million cases of pesticide poisoning in India every year, which also entails sizeable health cost savings.