A group investigating Biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) genetic modification of sheep finds the pay-off for investment is poor. It gives only benefit of $1.5 million for the period 2010 to 2013. The return of only $0.45 for each dollar invested does pay for operating costs, it says.
The Australian Wool Innovation body which carried out the research disputes this. It says the consultancy has not done its job. Indeed, the money paid to them was wasted. The report said that MERINOSELECT did make a profit, but overall the project ran at a loss to woolgrowers. How can one sector be okay while the rest is rubbish?
Professor Julius van der Werf of the Sheep CRC program said that the estimates were wrong. The total gross genetic gain needs to be valued at ten times what the BDA group determined. Tremendous gains lay in the future because genetic improvement is cumulative. Net present value should be $6.4 M not $0.7M. This is what you get when investigators do not fully understand the field of research.
Closing the study off in 2013 was clearly a mistake. Future benefits will definitely accrue from the basic investment. Gain is geometric (2,4,6...), not arithmetic (1,2,3...). The whole analysis is based on a false premise. Obviously the money given to the investigating body needs to be refunded.
✴ Genetics by Ty Buchanan ✴