Viewpoint: Why environmentalists should support GMO crops

| | March 1, 2018

[G]enetic modification increases corn yields, by a lot. This is not surprising: pests account for a loss of almost one-third of yields, and weeds for a loss of another 10%. Genetic modification addresses these two sources of loss, and thus crops resistant to either pest or weeds yield on average 10% more grain, and crops resistant to both deliver a 25% increase in grain yield. Consider the global importance of such an effect: the world could use one-fifth less farmland to produce its food. This means less deforestation. It also means less greenhouse gas emissions, by as much as one-eighth of the annual emissions from automobiles. There is no other policy that a true environmentalist should support more vigorously than the transition of the rest of the world to GMO-based agriculture.

Overall, there is no substantial effect on insect biodiversity. And other studies have found a dramatic reduction in the use of herbicides and insecticides.

[E]nvironmentalists should be at the forefront of advocating in favor of GMO technology. And yet, paradoxically, the more resounding the statements of scientific unanimity about the environmental benefits of GMOs, the stronger the ongoing campaigns in retail markets to promote non-GMO foods.

Editor’s note: Omri Ben-Shahar is a law professor at the University of Chicago

Read full, original post: The Environmentalist Case In Favor Of GMO Food

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

5 thoughts on “Viewpoint: Why environmentalists should support GMO crops”

  1. I’m a full supporter of the clear benefits and safety of GMO technology, but I think the author should use caution when making unqualified statements about GMO based ag allowing use of less farmland and helping limit deforestation. In a world where food demand, especially for animal protein, is static that may be the case. The reality is that the the growth of economic prosperity in ever larger segments of the population in Asia will continue to put pressure on the entire food production system. We need GMO simply to help maximize output from every acre cultivated.

  2. Why is it that all of this research is North American? Shouldn’t we be looking at international scientific research as well? We all know by now that Monsanto and others have infiltrated our universities and our govt. institutions. We also know that they actually school people as “community educators”. Compared to the number of lobbyists and insiders, those opposing GMOs are a small but mighty group who advocate for more caution, appropriate labelling and food security. You don’t “feed the world” by producing more food and producing more food waste. We have enough food. Our problem is distribution, not production.

    • Here let me help you with the European Science perspective:

      “Planting the Future”

      “There is NO VALIDATED EVIDENCE that
      GM crops have greater adverse impact on health and the environment than any
      other technology used in plant breeding…There is compelling evidence that GM
      crops can contribute to sustainable development goals with benefits to farmers,
      consumers, the environment and the economy…It is vital that sustainable
      agricultural production and food security harnesses the potential of
      biotechnology in all its facets.” EASAC-Planting the Future report 2013

    • GM crops were invented in order to help farmers, period. The WHO and other agencies concluded nearly 30 years ago that as far as the food chain is concerned GM crops were innocuous. i.e. a non issue. The whole non GMO meme was a creation of various activist and organic groups and has absolutely zero scientific basis.

    • The research isn’t all North American. The EFSADid 10 years of studies. The U. Of Perugia has done at least one meta study. Uganda has a research group. And so do other nations.

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