Farmers’ view: NYT’s GMO analysis ignores environmental benefits of GMO crops

| | November 4, 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.

[Editor’s note: A recent article in the New York Times claims that GMO crops have not lived up to their promises of increased yields and reduced herbicide use. In this article, University of Saskatchewan agriculture professor Stuart Smyth discusses the numerous benefits of GMOs the Times missed.]

[T]he research for this article was not extensive or balanced. It lacks discussion of immense literature on the benefits of GM crops in the United States and Canada. There have been substantial benefits for consumers, farmers, human health, the environment and sustainable development.

The other huge beneficiary is the environment because of major reductions in pesticide use (35 percent), soil tillage, soil erosion, fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emissions — all directly related to GM canola.

As well, the environmental impact of canola production has dropped by 53 percent.

Environmental benefits from GM crops come from reduced chemical applications.

In India, cotton farmers lose 50 to 60 percent of yield because of insect infestations. Those growing GM cotton have reduced pesticides to control insects by 41 percent.

Human health has also experienced enormous benefits following the adoption of GM crops.

Most chemical applications in developing countries are done by farmers walking through fields with short sleeve shirts, sometimes barefoot, spraying chemicals from a backpack.

A study of chemical use with GM cotton farmers in India found that cases of pesticide poisoning dropped by 2.4 million cases to nine million cases per year.

Similar results were observed in Burkina Faso, where it is estimated that GM cotton results in 30,000 fewer cases of pesticide poisoning annually.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read original post and listen to audio here: New York Times ignored GM crop benefits

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