GMO Crops Don’t Equal Higher Crop Yields

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The old argument that GM crops have a higher yield has appeared again. This time, a major study has found that average corn yields between 1986 and 2011 are in fact lower than those produced across Europe, where GE crops are not grown. [1]

The claims over time, by Monsanto and other Big Ag corporations, which state that GM crops will be the key to feeding the world’s population have failed to yield the results that we are continually bombarded with.[2] The “20 percent” increase in crop yields have yet to feed those going hungry. According to Big Ag advocates in 2013, agricultural production increased by more than $98 billion U.S dollars and saved 473 million kilograms of pesticides sprayed.[3]

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The 2014 mission statement regarding GMOs on one website is that “GMOs increase crop yields and promote efficient land use” and “GMOs reduce the use of synthetic chemical pesticides that are harmful to the environment.” But as they equally examine the arguments for production, questions are raised about the suitability of consumption, and the long-term ecological impacts, much less, greater crop yield.[4]

As early as 2009, it was noted that traditional crops yielded more than the claimed superior GE crops.[5] The question still remains: Where is the justification for the use of GMOs in food production? In a world where the food crisis is critical, not only restricted to African shores, but prevalent on Western shores, is it time to re-examine the nature of Big Ag and their false hopes?

 


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[1] Heinemann, J A., Massarobc, M., Corayab, D S., Agapito-Tenfenbd, S Z., & Wene, J D. (2013, June 14). Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14735903.2013.806408#.VTBbTf0cTIU

[2] (2008, May 9). AgBioWorld Website. Retrieved from http://www.agbioworld.org/newsletter_wm/index.php?caseid=archive&newsid=2815

[3] Gilbert, N. (2013, May 1). A Hard Look at 3 Myths about Genetically Modified Crops.  Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-hard-look-at-3-myths-about-genetically-modified-crops/

[4] (2014). Mission 2014: Feeding the World. Retrieved from http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/genetically-modified-crops

[5] (2009, April). Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops (2009). [Union of Concerned Scientists]. Retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/genetic-engineering/failure-to-yield.html#.VTBftv0cTIU

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