Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm it does—and provides substantial health benefits

While many studies show that genetically modified crops contribute to yield gains, GMO critics say that they don’t. Such claims, they say, are industry talking points drawn from industry-funded studies.

Most recently and notably, the New York Times asserted in a 2016 front-page analysis that “genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields.”

Organic food advocates, from Michael Pollan to the Environmental Working Group, often cite media articles or single studies, as well as unpublished reports from groups such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, to back up similar views, A widely disseminated “white paper” written in 2009 and still on the UCS website titled “Failure to Yield” claims, “For years the biotechnology industry has trumpeted that it will feed the world, promising that its genetically engineered crops will produce higher yields. That promise has proven to be empty.”

But scientists know better than to draw definitive conclusions from such sources.

Instead, they look at the results of many peer-reviewed scientific studies. One way that they do this is through what are called meta-analyses, which sort through hundreds or thousands of studies to separate the signal from the noise and draw surer conclusions from scientific data.

That’s exactly what a group of Italian researchers has done in a new meta-study that compared GMO corn with conventional varieties.

The analysis of over 6,000 peer-reviewed studies covering 21 years of data found that GMO corn increased yields up to 25 percent and dramatically decreased dangerous food contaminants. The study, published in Scientific Reports, analyzed field data from 1996, when the first GMO corn was planted, through 2016 in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

The researchers’ key findings:

  • GMO corn varieties increased crop yields 5.6 to 24.5 percent relative to their non-GMO equivalents
  • GMO corn crops had lower percentages of mycotoxins (-28.8 percent), fumonisins (-30.6 percent) and thricotecens (−36.5 percent), all of which can lead to economic losses and harm human and animal health
Worldwide distribution of the field studies included in the meta-analysis. Area of GMO corn cultivation by country in 2016 is indicated in the map. (Click image to enlarge)

The study also reaffirmed the scientific consensus that genetically modified corn does not pose risks to human health.

“This analysis provides an effective synthesis on a specific problem that is widely discussed publicly,” study coauthor Laura Ercoli told Italian newspaper la Repubblica (quote translated from Italian).

The scientists said that the meta-analysis allows us “to draw unequivocal conclusions, helping to increase public confidence in food produced with genetically modified plants.”

There are currently two types of GMO corn seeds available to farmers: herbicide-tolerant (HT) corn, which allows farmers to better control weeds, and insect-resistant (Bt) corn, which fends off pests such as the corn borer. Some GMO corn strains have both the herbicide-tolerance and insect-resistance traits.

Herbicide-tolerant corn is genetically engineered to confer resistance to the herbicide glyphosate, meaning that the crop is not affected by the herbicide but weeds are killed. This was achieved by incorporating genes from a soil bacterium into corn plants. Insect-resistant corn is genetically modified to include genes from another soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is commonly sprayed on organic farms as an approved natural pesticide. This built-in protection has been shown to reduce the need for insecticide spraying.

Yield controversy

The Italian meta-analysis marks what could be a final chapter in an important facet of the ongoing debate over the use of GMOs in farming. Most recently, the argument that GMO crops do not result in yield increases received prominent attention after the publication of a 2016 article on the front page of the New York Times claimed that GMO crops had not increased yields relative to their non-GMO counterparts. The article, by Danny Hakim, cited a report by the National Academies of Sciences as saying “there was little evidence’ that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops.”

Related article:  Anti-GM NGO supports Union of Concerned Scientists in spat over science credos

Hakim was widely criticized by scientists for cherry-picking parts of the NAS report and other datasets to build a narrative that GMO crops don’t increase yields. Read in context, the NAS reaffirmed the obvious—no GMO crop has been engineered specifically to increase yields. The two types of genetically engineered corn, for example, were not tweaked to increase yield, but rather to combat losses from weeds and insects. The NAS report did document that the reduction in weeds and insects had a positive yield impact—as many other studies have confirmed.

For example, a 2014 meta-analysis by two Germans scientists of all GMO crops found, “On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%.” It also found that yield and profit gains were higher in developing countries, which the New York Times did not include in its analysis. A 2015 review by PG Economics, an industry-focused consultant firm, found that GMO crops provided economic benefits of $133.4 billion from 1996 to 2013, with roughly half of the gains going to farmers in developing nations. About 70 percent of the economic benefits were attributed to yield and production gains while the remaining 30 percent came from cost savings.

Effects of GMO corn on: grain yield and damaged ears (a), grain quality (toxins), target pest non-target insects, and residue mass loss. (Click image to enlarge)

Inside the Italian study

According to the Italian study, over 53 million hectares (~131 million acres) of genetically modified corn was cultivated in 2015, representing almost a third of the global area of planted corn. The United States leads the world in GMO corn production at 33 million hectares (82 million acres), with Brazil, Argentina and Canada also growing large quantities.

While yield increases were more modest in developing nations where growing conditions are poorer, South Africa, which has been growing GMO corn since 2002, recorded an average yield increase of 24.6 percent.

The authors suggest that increased adoption of GMO corn by developing countries could provide farmers and consumers with substantial economic and human health benefits. The health benefits come from a reduction in mycotoxins, which are toxic and carcinogenic for humans and animals. According to the study, GMO corn likely had lower mycotoxin content because the genetically modified varieties decreased insect crop damage by 59.6 percent. Essentially, insects, like the “bugs” humans get, weaken the plant’s “immune system” and leave it more susceptible to fungal development.

C u GGGVcAEa z
Mycotoxin-contaminated corn

Mycotoxins remain a persistent health threat in the developing world. Although commercial corn is screened for mycotoxin contamination and rejected if high enough levels are detected, much slips through to consumers. Food safety systems are often not as rigorous in developing countries, resulting in significant human and animal exposure to their toxic and carcinogenic effects. Studies have shown that mycotoxin contamination is associated with increased liver cancer rates, which are higher in developed countries.

The Italian scientists also note that climate change could increase mycotoxin contamination because increased temperatures and decreased rainfall could leave corn plants more susceptible to fungal attacks. Last year, University of Arizona scientists developed a genetically engineered corn variety resistant to aflatoxins, one of the major groupings of mycotoxins, but it is years from potential approval.

The meta-analysis also found “modest or no effect on the abundance of non-target insects, suggesting no substantial effect on insect community diversity.”

As geneticist Anastasia Bodnar notes at Biofortified, the researchers used a particularly rigorous methodology for their meta-analysis, only including field studies and those that used a genetically similar corn strain as a comparison. Of the 6,006 studies reviewed, only 76 met their high standard and were included in the analysis.

Paul McDivitt is a science and environmental writer based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has a Master’s in environmental journalism from the University of Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @PaulMcDivitt

115 thoughts on “Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm it does—and provides substantial health benefits”

  1. I don’t fear GMOs because I think there’s something wrong with eating GMOs. I fear
    1) Our food supply being patented and controlled by Monsanto and similar companies, and
    2) That the long term effects of the GM isn’t well understood, and might end up making the food yields longer over the long term as evolution finds way to combat the added resistance we’re introducing.
    I will remain strongly negative to GMOs for as long as they can patented.

    • Patents aren’t uniquely a GMO issue. I guess you will have to oppose all breeding. It’s gonna be hard to eat.

      The second point–longer food yields over time? Not sure why that’s a problem. But any resistance, traditional or GMO, can be overcome. Again, not a GMO issue.

      What will you eat?

      • > Patents aren’t uniquely a GMO issue.
        Correct, but I don’t see how that makes a difference.

        > you will have to oppose all breeding
        No, I simply have to oppose the patenting part.

        >Again, not a GMO issue.
        That is true, though I fear that GMO will lead to larger mono-cultures, which increases the risk of a black swan wiping out all food production.

        > What will you eat?
        I eat just fine now, thank you, so for me personally, there’s no need to change.

        • Oh, so you were lying about being strongly negative on things that are patented. You are selectively strongly negative. Gotcha.

          Again, monocultures not a GMO issue. Monocultures existed long before them, and exist in crops that aren’t GMO.

          Can you think of anything that is uniquely a GMO issue?

          • Plants that are selectively bread are not patent eligible and neither should GMO’s be. Life should not be patent eligible, especially not subsequent generations. Farmers have been saving and breeding crops forever and allowing the patenting of life ends that practice. Also, several occasions GMO companies have been caught “dusting” non-GMO fields with their genetically dominant seeds to destroy hundreds of years of selective breeding done on family farms with no consequences for those actions. Studies and research, even “peer-reviewed” is suspect because GMO companies have gained almost complete control over universities where that research is usually done with massive cash outlays, corrupting the credibility of studies like the one above.

          • There’s an awful lot of conspiracy filled nonsense here.
            Truthfully, in the modernized world, seed saving is no longer a common practice. It was abandoned in favor of commercially produced seed for many reasons, most of which boil down to yield performance.
            But any farmer that still wants to save seed can. All they need do is buy non-patented varieties. They’re not hard to find.

          • Wait what? That thing that the companies don’t want you to have for free, that everyone claims they sue over, they are just giving away to the competition?

        • You might want to distinguish between “monocultures” of the same species (e.g. corn or rice), versus lack of genetic diversity between the varieties planted in different fields. (To the untrained eye, any corn just looks like corn, and rice is rice). Genetic modification is typically just a TRAIT that can be introduced into a wide variety of genetic backgrounds: if fact, you might even say that genetic engineering could INCREASE genetic diversity.

          Crops that are propagated by seeds of of little concern, the problem lies with crops that are propagated by clonal division (such as potato or banana), since these really do lack genetic diversity, and can be devastated by pests.

      • There is a distinction between breeding and gene manipulation , yet to the naked eye they are one and the same .
        If Gene manipulation is safe why are the same people ferociously supporting GMO food and equally ferocious against gene manipulation in human …..

        • I have no idea what you are talking about, because nobody I know is “ferocious against gene manipulation in human”. The cancer treatments are looking very good.

          Who exactly is that you have in your imagination? Sounds like a strawman.

          • Well move to the Bible belt and present your argument , let me know when you do it so I can reserve you an armored carried vehicle instead of limousine , Ronald Reagan was dead set against it while Nancy knew better , sadly this set back scientific research a good decade , when California made it a State priority everyone or just about criticized it , but no one will refuse the treatment resulting from that research , Cancer would be one .
            My only use for straws is for my bees so they do not drown in the syrup we give them at the fall to make it thru winter.

    • “I will remain strongly negative to GMOs for as long as they can patented.”

      Hmm… a number of GMOs have gone off-patent (i.e. their patents have expired) Does that mean you aren’t opposed to them?

      Patents are in essence time limited rights to (hopefully) profit from an invention and are granted to incentivize innovation. In return the patent applicant “teaches” the invention to the public so that after the patent expires ‘anyone’ (per regulation etc. in some cases) can use the invention. The genetic modifications themselves are the ‘true’ invention, not the base organism which has been modified. Just because a particular GM corn variety is patented for example, nothing prevents you from growing any number of alternate non-patented (or off-patent) varieties. Most people don’t seem to understand this concept.

      • > a number of GMOs have gone off-patent
        That’s new information to me, but I’m happy to hear that.

        > Does that mean you aren’t opposed to them?
        I do not oppose them then, no.

    • Then your beef (pun intended) is with the nature of intellectual property (IP) in general on with IP when applied to food crops?

      To the first, this is what our greatest president said, “The US patent system adds the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery and production of new and useful things.” Patents are a very special contract between society and an inventor in which the inventor is give the right to decide how an invention is used for a very limited time (20 years) in return for teaching others how an invention works so that it may eventually be used by others… and hopefully improved upon yet further to allow knowledge to progress.

      To be against patents it to be against all reasonable means of incenting people to develop new and improved products, including new and improved crops.

      Full Disclosure: I myself have just over a hundred high tech US patents granted. You are probably using my inventions as they are found in hundreds of millions of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs shipped each year. If not for patents, I could never have gotten the money to develop those inventions… and I would certainly not have spent years of effort on my own, as I did, to get those working and convince a doubting industry that my “crazy” inventions worked.

      If the second… then you are likely taking the misinformed idea that patenting crops with specific traits instilled in them using specific techniques that that somehow disallows people from using non-patented crops from other sources. A farmer may always chose another seed source. The reason for chosing (and they do so freely) a patented seed is because that seed improves their profits… either by increasing yeild, decreasing costs, or providing a more salable crop. No one holds a gun to their head to make them plant a seed they don’t want.

  2. Sure…and in 50 years a study will show that these modifications CAUSE CANCER. By then it will be too late to do anything about it. Monsanto will have solved the problem of overpopulation…

      • is it ? Are you telling us that plant with round up GMO are safe ? well India , Pakistan and China are the Biggest lab for Monsanto , they all have now crops which are no longer protected by herbicide and pesticide , in some cases catastrophic pest . Why not talk about it , While yes GMO has it.s benefit , it also has massive draw back , The real truth is that the Farmer can only buy seeds from these Companies creating a monopoly , something few are talking about , Put it in perspective and for illustration sake , No clothing Co shall manufacture or sell any jeans unless they are made by Levy’s Strauss the creator of Jeans and none can be Manufactured with any other cotton but the Cotton from Nimes France , origin of the world denim ….

    • Just curious Karl, what mechanism(s) do you propose by which genetic modifications might cause cancer?

      The genetic modifications consist of changes in DNA sequence and production of modified proteins, both of which are comprised of the same building blocks (nucleotides and amino acids, respectively) as their natural counterparts and so are digested the same way.

      While it’s true that both GM and non-GM conventionally-grown crops may contain trace amounts of synthetic pesticides, the concentrations of those pesticides are far lower than the natural pesticides the plants themselves produce (also found in organic crops), a number of which have been shown to cause cancer in animals when fed at high doses

      A lot is now known about what causes cancer, so people making such claims about GM food should be able to propose one or more rational mechanisms for how that cancer might be produced.

      • I am always interested in studies that look for glyphosate constituent residues as well, in foods, and also in soils and water . . . Could not quite tell on first glance if this study did that or not. Also studies on the effects of pest developing resistance to either glyphosate or Bt toxins.

        • This article concerns a meta study for yield obviously so one wouldn’t expect to find what you describe.

          I too wouldn’t mind seeing some comprehensive review (or study) of residues for glyphosate & its metabolite(s) in foods and any accumulation in tissues (though my understanding is that they are known to be relatively low or absent in food and mostly excreted from the body).

          A number of weeds have become resistant to glyphosate and a number of insects resistant to one or more Bt toxins. Generating plants with resistance to alternate herbicides (e.g. glufosinate, 2,4-D) or adding alternate Bt toxins (multiple versions are available) gives farmers the ability to rotate strategies to manage the build-up of resistance in much the same way multiple antibiotics enable physicians to manage resistance to those products.

      • Yes there was a study in the 1980 which said that Camenbert caused cancer …
        There are however countless studies which directly point out new food allergy to gluten due to gene manipulation as well as weight gain , because no one on earth has evolved to the point of properly digesting such refined food , So no they are not digested the same way , let’s back up 50 years , never had a Customer with food allergy on 3 continents , I can safely say I served or supervised serving Millions of meal , now a day you need to be a dietician in order to work in a Hotel or Restaurant , are you suggesting that we as Human have become weaker or simply that the food is not adapted to our Digestive system , I believe the later is the root of the problem .

        • Camembert cheese (specifically) causes cancer?? You have a link to that study? Googling ‘camenbert cancer’ suggests the opposite.

          There are however countless studies which directly point out new food allergy to gluten due to gene manipulation…

          Hmm, if there are ‘countless studies’ it should be easy for you to provide links to two or three of them. Go for it!

          Eating lots of highly refined food has been associated with poor health, but that’s not a GMO issue but a food processing industry/consumer demand issue.

          • Thank you I left out the amount required to get cancer was 400lbs a day , I am totally behind you on the gene manipulation of wheat , I called it the fattening of America , when I was a kid that would be 60 years ago , no one was talking about gluten allergic , My brother a Pastry chef became so allergic to it he actually had to give up his career , so yes that gene manipulation is catastrophic , money talk chemical agro business is second to the NRA when it come to lobby.

          • There isn’t any ‘genetically modified’ (by biotechnology) wheat sold on the market. Conventional breeding also ‘manipulates genes’. Breeders have the ability to change things like gluten content of wheat or increase sugar content of fruits using non-biotech methods. Examples of unintended negative consequences from conventional breeding include the poisonous Lenape potato and killer bees

            And as to ‘money talk’, I would be much more concerned about a network of far-right-wing plutocrats who are pushing a large segment of US society toward their once-considered radical views via well-funded “think tanks” and “astroturf” organizations

          • “when I was a kid that would be 60 years ago , no one was talking about gluten allergic”

            Because they didn’t know what it was. Kids died all the time from stuff that no one knew what it was. Today, we know what it is.

        • “There are however countless studies which directly point out new food allergy to gluten due to gene manipulation…”

          Just cut it out. I have followed this field closely for years, and I don’t know of any evidence confirming what you are saying. Zero.

          I think you need to update your avatar: getting your head out of whatever it’s buried in would be a good start.

        • As a child I was allergic to oats – oatmeal consumed, breathing dust from oats we fed our cattle – and now I an not allergic to oats anymore. My oat allergy started about 50 years ago and I ‘grew out of it’ as my allergist said I might. If we had GMO oats I could credit the GMO oats for my cure!

    • So your fear is after forty years of testing and research with safe conclusions, we are still heading towards significant danger from some unknown aspect of GE crops?

      Yet all other breeding methods have virtually no safety testing.

      • This hilariously sums up pretty much most anti-GMO arguments I’ve read for years. They never change, and they’re always waiting for that study that will show that GMOs somehow mysteriously cause cancer that is never coming.

    • Karl, please catch up to reality. (1) genetic engineering of crops is being carried out by dozens of NGOs, university-based labs, small companies, and governmental agencies. (2) The original Monsanto patents have expired. (3) The genetic variations in the food you eat number in the billions or maybe trillions over a period of years. (3) Genetic engineering is not “experimental”. Genetic engineering is done every day in thousands of biology and biomedical research labs in universities, independent foundations, and government agencies in many, many countries around the world. (4) There are over 3000 varieties of plants, including many of those that have been consumed by generations of Americans and Europeans since the 1930’s, that were created by crude (but effective) genetic engineering techniques that produced genes unlike any found in nature. This older technique created new, unique, artificial genes by exposing growing plants to near-lethal doses of nuclear radiation or highly toxic chemicals. Occasionally, a seed from a plant that survived this treatment would grow to produce a plant noticeably different from the parent plant. If this new plant showed desirable traits, it was developed by additional breeding to produce a new commercial variety. This type of genetic engineering is normally called “mutational breeding” or “radiation-induced mutagenesis”, and has been done since the 1930’s. The difference between this type of genetic engineering and the the genetic engineering being done today is that today we do know what genes we are changing, what those changes are, and what to expect as a result of those changes.
      So – you have been eating food from crops containing artificial genes your entire life, as did your parents, your grandparents, and maybe before that, depending on your age. Don’t you think that after 80 years, and at least three generations, if artificial genes were going to cause problems we would have long ago figured that out? After all, we figured out the carcinogenic effects of things with much, much lower exposure levels, like asbestos and radon in basements, along with some other well-understood carcinogens that were unknown in the 1930’s.
      If you are truly concerned about food safety, focus on the thousands of people who die every year, those permanently disabled every year, and the millions more who are made very sick by food poisoning due to improper handling of food.

  3. I’m all on board for Bt GMO corn, its a great way to reduce pest damage and reduce actual Bt spraying. However, I don’t appreciate that the other GMO for herbicides is to specifically enable high amounts of glyphosate – glyphosate damages our internal microbiota and reduces our intestinal and liver enzyme function, as discussed in this paper.

    If we could use a different herbicide, and GMO-propagate crop-resistance with that instead, I think that would be much more favorable.

  4. Lets settle this the old fashioned way – a drinking contest.
    Pro GMO people drink roundup, anti-GMO people drink the natural pesticide nicotine – mg for mg.
    Last side standing wins.

  5. I still question the harm from the Monsanto products, but more specifically the chemicals or pesticides used on them. How are they “good” for us? In the article it doesn’t seem to be covered, I welcome more information if anyone has some on this topic.

  6. It is definitely not about GM the problem.
    Is how big corps enter in corrupted countries. I am from Argentina, where Soya beans, and Corn is GM. The problem is they fumigate roundup over people, wetlands, and people and animals are dying at the speed of light.
    HOW THE FURRRCK, can we accept such amazing scientific advances, that are being used against people and animals with no rationality?

    Who need corn by the way? really. Who does?

    We should be using biotechnology to allow more proteins, vitamins and minerals in crops, or to simulate different ecosystems to destroy petrol transportation. Growing corn, doesn’t justify such a human cruelty war. Not at all.

    In this case, is like if we try to support Einstein Atomic theory while dropping bombs on people.

    Please, be wise, is not about the R+D, its about the use, the hypocrisy of big corps and the damage of Monsanto, and other evil dudes.

    Big supporter of science, big supporter of life and ecosystems.

    • Sounds like the problem is in your herbicide application methods. We, here in the USA, also have predominantly GM corn & soy but are not “fumigating” it over everything. It is quite possible to treat one piece of land with glyphosate without overspraying to the next piece of land.

      And if people & animals are dropping like flies then they’re spraying something other than glyphosate.

      Lastly… corn is one of the worlds largest staple crops. A lot of people need corn.

  7. A couple things–
    Is this a typo? thricotecens? Trichothecenes seem to be a mycotoxins, as do the mentioned fumonisins.
    Also, I think there might be an editing error here: “While yield increases were more modest in developed nations where growing conditions are poorer, South Africa, which has been growing GMO corn since 2002, recorded an average yield increase of 24.6 percent.”
    Not to mention the logical questionableness of the next sentence, “The authors suggest that increased adoption of GMO corn by developing countries could provide farmers and consumers with substantial economic and human health benefits.” While this can certainly be true in places where grain/feed crops are currently being grown in less efficient ways, much of the growth in this sector has come from plantings in South America on previously non-intensively farmed land. While neither the technology nor the inventors of the technology are to blame for this, the marketers of it are, particularly the creation of markets demanding a specific profile of soybean or corn.

  8. Interesting.
    Shame the article doesn’t link to the study that is so extensively referred to. If it does, I can’t find it. Looked over all the links, couldn’t find one pointing to that meta-study.
    So now I’m questioning the credibility here.

    I’m pro-GMO, btw. Anti-Monsanto, mind, but pro-GMO. So if someone could point me towards that meta-study, so I can read the abstract myself, I’d greatly appreciate it. Really couldn’t find any link for that here.

  9. Genetically modified how? Interesting research, but a lot left out here. I hate it when all genetic modification is lumped under the “GMO” moniker, as if there was one uniform way to do it.

  10. More lies. 6,000 studies? Quoted from the study:

    “The first step of the selection procedure yielded 6,006 publications.
    The subsequent refinement, by adopting the stringent criteria above
    described, gave 32, 5, 32 and 10 eligible publications, covering,
    respectively, the following categories: grain yield and quality, TOs,
    NTOs (non-target organisms), and biogeochemical cycles (e.g. lignin content in stalks and leaves, stalk mass loss and biomass loss, CO2 emission) (Supplementary 1 Tables 1–5).”

    “To date, a considerable number of scientific articles on GE maize is
    present in the literature (6,006 publications examined). However, on the
    basis of the criteria adopted for data selection, only 76 publications
    were eligible for the meta-analyses.”

    Although, there are only 64
    references. Still, 64 or 76 is still only about 1% of the available
    literature, and surely they was a bias, from looking at the rest of the
    study. For example:

    “Grain yield response was based on 46% of observations on single event
    hybrid maize, and on 33, 13, and 8% of double, triple and quadruple
    stacks (GE events combined by hybridisation) in hybrid maize,
    respectively (Table 2).”

    What about the 54%? Were the yields the same? Were they decreased? By how much? What is the overall yield effect?

    Nice try…

      • This has nothing to do with food prejudices, it has to do with science, and I have read enough science on the subject to know that this is nonsense propaganda.

        • This absolutely has to do with your anti-science prejudices. You haven’t cited any scientific studies which contradict the claims in this article or the many studies I gave you. Until you do, you are the purveyor of “nonsense propaganda.”

  11. I’m an actual living farmer, my husband and I are proud to grow GM crops (but not corn) and we are happy to see this research come out. We see a yield increase in our crops because we’re applying fewer and less caustic chemicals, the crop doesn’t have to bounce back from chemical cocktails anymore. We drive across our fields less since we apply less chemical, this reduces our carbon emissions. This also reduced soil compaction and increased soil microbes, we all know a healthy soil grows a healthy crop. Our healthy crop also needs less water, and there’s less chemical in our water table.

    • Come from large Family many of them Farmers , Uncle died from the most horrible cancer , Brother in law died from a very rare kidney and bladder cancer , His Wife my sister a very rare brain Cance , we come from the Country side were Cancer was a disease of City dweller , it is now the most prevalent cause of Death after suicide 99% of them Farmer which had Cancer ….. Enjoy your GMO , please you don’t mind if I eat normal food , the Problem in the Agriculture business today is Profit , the old Timers had a system 5 years of good crop plan for 2 of bad crop , today’s Farmer want profit every days …. it come at a cost . You are still young check this in 20 years , by the way weight gain and allergy to wheat have been directly linked to GMO not my word the science words .

      • Ummm, farmers have a lower incidence of cancer than the general public.

        GMO is normal food, it is the same as any other food. It has no magical properties.

        Farming has always been about profit, do you think raising crops was done in the past just for fun?

        “wheat have been directly linked to GMO not my word the science words .”

        There is no GMO wheat.
        Like come on, you said you came from farmer lineage.

        • I am Privileged and Honored a trolling Zombie has replied to my post ,
          according to the National cancer research along with 5 more pages on the subject were very quick to add buried long after the title which said that Farmer have less Cancer : farming communities have higher rates of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and soft tissue sarcoma, as well as cancers of the skin, lip, stomach, brain, and prostate. NOT MY WORDS THE GOV WORDS.
          You claim to be a Farmer “I am not” come from Family with lots of Farms , and you are saying that GMO is the same as other food , interesting , since when Cotton had GMO in it’s DNA or Soya , this is the GMO people are talking about , Wheat DNA has been altered the direct result is gluten allergy , no one ever had gluten allergy when I was a kid , that is the definition of GMO .
          Farming has always been about Profit , agree no one work for nothing , the difference within the farming community is as wide as the continental divide , I seriously doubt the Wall Street farmers have any clue on how to milk a cow with of without machine , facing the test they will be more likely to place the bucket under the Cow utter and say go give me the milk , nor do they have any clue when to trim tree or vineyard , they are the one that want chemical so they will not have to buy tractor and equipment to till the soil essential for healthy soil . They are international conglomerate nothing to do with Farmer which are being squeezed out in extinction because they can’t compete , like your grocery store vs Walmart . your hardware store vs home depot or Amazon
          PROVE ME WRONG !
          It is easy to troll like a zombie without looking past beyond the titles , or the working knowledge , I have and in my days the early 60’s like your glasses there were very few adultered food harvested . draw back the yield was less . Why having such yield when 40 % of the food harvested go to the landfill.

          • “I am Privileged and Honored a trolling Zombie has replied to my post ,”

            Well I am honored as well, it is not everyday I get to respond to a 70 year old cartoon character.

            have less Cancer

            Yes, just like I said LESS Cancer.

            Some cancers in farmers are higher, mostly because they are outside more often.

            “since when Cotton had GMO in it’s DNA or Soya , this is the GMO people are talking about “

            GMO is just a breeding method, it cant be in the DNA.

            “Wheat DNA has been altered the direct result is gluten “

            There is no GMO wheat. Gluten allergies have been around since at least 1970. People are allergic to everything nowadays.Some parent told me last spring that their kid was allergic to cold temps.

            “Wall Street farmers “

            That is a new one.. Do these corporate farmers do the work in 3 piece suits?

            “how to milk a cow with of without machine”

            I don’t know how to milk a cow at all, did it 2 times when I was a kid. MOST FARMERS don’t have milk cows? Should all city folks know how to build a concrete wall?

            “clue when to trim tree or vineyard”

            Why would anyone but a tree farmer or a orcharist know how to do this in a commercially effective manner?

            I do know how to trim trees,,,Moar Cowz.

            “equipment to till the soil essential for healthy soil “

            Tilling soil is bad for the soils.

            “Farmer which are being squeezed out in extinction because they can’t compete”

            Farms are getting bigger today because.
            1. Very few want to farm (or put up any money to start)
            2. Equipment is getting better and more productive.

            “there were very few adultered food “

            Food back in the 60s was bred using radiation. Today we use far safer GMO tech.

            “Why having such yield when 40 % of the food harvested go to the landfill.”

            Even more went to waste back in the older times. it is a good thing that we can waste food , it means that we are wealthy beyond anything that our ancestors could imagine.

            Thanks for you post.

        • “Ummm, farmers have a lower incidence of cancer than the general public.”

          True, but I think it may be unwise to lump (ouch) all cancers together. Lower smoking and alcohol consumption probably reduce the overall risk, but there is evidence of a weak association between farming and increase in specific cancers. Whether this is a real cause and effect relationship is still open to debate.

      • Well, the only words in what you said that might be true is the recounting of all of your relatives that died from cancer. I would venture that this might be from where they live. Are there any old chemical plants there? Maybe a dump. Did your brother and sister live on top of an illegal dump of waste material? Because I know many farmers, and yes, some of the older ones do eventually get cancer, but not nearly at the rate of non-farmers. Let’s see my aunt has gotten breast cancer (not a farmer), my sister-in-law got breast cancer (not a farmer), my cousin had a testicle removed (not a farmer).

        Everything else you said is veritably a lie.

  12. There are many types of GMO. Each one should be evaluated for safety separately. GMO for drought resistance or increased nutritional content has obvious benefits. GMO that allows crops to tolerate ever increasing levels of herbicides promotes weeds that become increasingly resistant. The same effect is seen with increasing antibiotic use that promotes antibiotic resistant bacteria. ~microbiologist, PhD

  13. The biased panel
    assembled by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine to conduct a 20-year review of genetically engineered food, concluded that the GMO agriculture system has NOT increased crop yields.
    Increases in yield are due to seed alterations produced by traditional hybrid methods, not genetic engineering. (They also concluded that it does not decrease pesticide use.) That’s enough for me.

  14. the word gmo itself has nothing to do with safety. the reason for this is that there are no standards for testing novel plant substances. this lack of standards is a serious matter
    which may in time allow human to contact more adverse substances than we need to do.
    one concern is how trace metals are handled by gmo type proteins in the human system.
    our risk centers on secretive decisions involving large corporations without much health

    • False. All GMOs are tested for substantial equivalency according to standards approved by the FDA and conformance to Codex Alimentarius. GMO seed grow plain old food. That plain old food handles your ‘trace metals’ just the same as any other foods. A large segment of all GMOs are developed and distributed by non-profit NGOs and governments that directly develop seed for their citizens, Bangladesh being a prime example. So much for that conspiracy theory.

  15. Don’t get too excited about pro-GMO ‘scientific reports’. Most of these ‘scientific reports’ come from agricultural colleges. Where do these ag colleges get a tremendous amount of their financial subsidies? They get millions of dollars from agrichemical companies. Our national public agricultural research infrastructure (ag colleges) has been turned into a R&D and marketing device for the chemical industry. Colleges can be bought and sold just like any other commodity. If some research at a college shows negative results that will affect their income flow, those reports are squashed out of existance. If they aren’t, those chemical companies will be on the college doorstep with a frown and a question: “What’s wrong — Don’t you like our money?” So, the only reports that are released are favorable to the industrial companies. THIS IS NOT PROOF OF SAFETY, FOLKS!

    And consider this: Monsanto’s focus wasn’t really to produce more food by creating GMO crops, it was to create crops that could tolerate more of their #1 product: Roundup herbicide. But while the crops (like corn, soy, rapeseed (canola) were bred to resist the Roundup, the weeds decided to develop more resistance to it. The last figure I heard indicated that, overall, farmers are spraying something like TEN TIMES the original amount of the herbicide on their crops. Crops that we eat. Crops coated with a toxic substance that isn’t as benign as Monsanto promised. Imagine!

    Now, with the weeds ignoring the Roundup (they’re smarter than many farmers), they’ve created a market for MORE GMO crops! Isn’t that a win-win situation for ag chemical companies? And probably a lose-lose situation for us…

    Oh, well, just keep on thinking that everything is fine, and that all of these companies are acting in our best interests. Ignore the fact that there are more cancer cases every year, more Diabetes, more Alzheimer’s, more Autism, more suicides, more gastrointestinal problems, more ADHD, more mental issues, more acid reflux, more allergies and sensitivities, etc. Forget that American babies are born with more than 200 foreign chemicals in their little bodies. Forget that the U.S. has the HIGHEST INFANT MORTALITY RATE OF ANY INDUSTRIALIZED NATION.

    • Pure activist crap. You are a prime example of how the willfully ignorant can visit ground zero for genetic literacy and learn nothing. The mechanisms that cause pest resistance are caused by farmers not following best practices and are reversed or DO NOT happen when best practices are employed. Right here on this site you can learn how there is no increase in autism, cancer deaths are at a 25 year low, Alzheimers (HAHAHAHA!!!!) and acid reflux is due to an aging demographic. Suicides have nothing to do with GMO science, nor do mental issues. Allergies and autism are simply diagnosed more by better medical science. Infant mortality is caused by pregnant junkies and alcoholics in a sub-class created by the 1% money hoarder greed. You are a willfully ignorant hateful small minded blathering idiot who knows nothing and WANTS TO LEARN NOTHING.

    • “Don’t get too excited about pro-GMO ‘scientific reports’. Most of these ‘scientific reports’ come from agricultural colleges.”

      This one came from Europe. How about reading the study and discussing the methods and results.

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