GMO proponents may have overstated benefits of herbicide-resistant soy on environment

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Young soybean plants grow in reside of wheat crop

[M]any people… have talked about how glyphosate tolerant crops allowed replacement of more toxic herbicides. …[B]ut that trend seems to be over, according to this “largest ever” study of the environmental impacts of GE crops: Genetically engineered crops and pesticide use in U.S. maize and soybeans

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…[L]et’s look at the main findings of the paper…

…GE has overall had a positive effect, but in the case of GE herbicide tolerant soybeans, it has actually had a negative environmental impact… because of other herbicides used with glyphosate. Now, if GE herbicide tolerant soy had never existed, more toxic herbicides would have been used anyway so overall there has still been a net positive. But based on this paper, claims about environmental benefits of GE herbicide tolerant soybeans are overstated, especially …[if] claims about tillage may be exaggerated as well.

The authors… propose that the increases in non-glyphosate herbicide use in soybean is due in part to glyphosate resistant weeds. It may only be a matter of time before non-glyphosate herbicide use increases in maize as well. Glyphosate is too important of an agricultural tool to lose, so we need to take steps to reduce weed resistance…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Environmental impacts of GE crops