Mark Bittman’s wrong: Mega production monocultures of corn and soy aren’t result of GMOs

| | September 6, 2016
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Mark Bittman has an editorial today in the New York Times on the new GMO labeling laws. . . . I was pleased to see that he had a reasonably accurate portrayal of the science on GMOs.

. . . .

[But] he goes a bit off the rails [here]:

“. . .[B]y simplifying the growing of . . . large tracts of crops, especially corn and soybeans, G.M.O.s have become an indispensable crutch for the fertilizer- and pesticide-dependent monoculture . . . .”

The implication seems to be without GMOs we wouldn’t have as much corn and soy. . . .

Yes, there has been an increase in corn acres since the mid 1980s, but biotech corn didn’t start being grown in earnest until about 2005. . . .

Related article:  A rebuttal to Mark Bittman's NYT op-ed

. . . . We were planting more corn [prior to 1950] than now.  But prior to 1950, there was no biotech.  Use of . . . “synthetic” fertilizer didn’t begin in a big way until the late 1930s.  And, yet in the 1920s, we planted more corn than we do now.  So much for the “chemical warfare”, “fertilizer-dependent” story that explains our “monoculture” production system. . .  Bittman might want to rethink some of the key underlying economic reasons why we plant hardy, easily storeable, easily transportable crops like corn.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: News on GMOs

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