Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Report Says GMOs Good For Farmers, The Planet; Critics Unconvinced

A report released today found that genetically engineered crops have clear benefits for farmers (and the planet), but critics remain wary.

corn crop

Photo: profgeek

80% of the corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the U.S are genetically engineered.

A report released today by the National Research Council (NRC), an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, gave genetically modified crops favorable reviews in an assessment of their benefit to farmers.

The report was called the ”first comprehensive assessment of how all genetically engineered crops are affecting U.S. farmers”.

The study found that GE crops (making up about 80% of soybean, corn and cotton grown in the U.S.) offer a range of economic and environmental benefits to farmers. These include the need to use less insecticide due to GE crops’ resistance to insects as well as lower production costs and higher yields.

The findings do express concern that weeds will develop a resistance to herbicide glyphosate — a main ingredient in Roundup and other commercial weed-killers — due to repeated exposure.

It’s also worth noting that the study was concerned with benefit to the farmers and overall environmental impact, not necessarily the effects on individual consumers.

Critics Not Persuaded

Needless to say, critics of genetically modified (GMO) crops remain unconvinced.

Aside from the obvious economic benefits that GE crops offer to farmers, critics remain concerned about the long-term health affects for consumers and the environmental impact of GMO crops, arguing that 14 years is an inadequate length of time to determine what the long-term impacts of the move to GMO crops will be.

GMO crops have become commonplace in North America, Latin America and parts of Asia since their introduction, but Europe remains reluctant to jump on the GE bandwagon.

What Do You Think?

Are you convinced by the findings of this study? Are GMO crops really safe for the planet and consumers? Leave a comment and let us know where you stand.

Read More:

  • Study Says Overuse Threatens Gains From Modified Crops (NY Times)
  • Biotech Crops Are Good For The Earth, Report Finds (NPR)
Laura Bult

Laura Bult is a spring intern with Earth Eats and a senior at Indiana University majoring in International Studies, with minors in English Literature and Spanish.

View all posts by this author »

  • Lisa Bee

    O are these people on crack? Did they take into account that it KILLS all of the bees and many of the butterflies? Or how about the fact that many are allergic and some PEOPLE HAVE DIED AFTER EATING IT? Or how about how it rots the soil and depletes vitamins and minerals from the soil while retaining NONE of them. How about the fact that the human body as well as animals bodies can retain NONE of what little vitamins are left in the tasteless crap? Or we can talk about the MUTANT bacteria they are making to make it and how that mutant bacteria is then spread around by humans and animals alike? Or the fact that states like Wisconsin which is a farming state has NO clean water due to farm run off from GMO fed animals that has turned our lakes and rivers into botulism-ecoli-Salmonila swamps? I know lets go dump a crap load of the GMO foods on their front lawn and watch them RUN AWAY from it as they are afraid of it!!! It is biodegradable right? Not littering then is it? I happen to know the idiots are afraid of it! Especially if it is dumped near them, they don't want to get the bird or the swine flu from it. I am sick of LYING scientists with NO morals or ethics at all. THE REAL scientists and doctors tell people the truth!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Reil/1244376451 Scott Reil

    This is a completely biased assessment, operating under the misguided assumption that the use of Round-Up is beneficial to the planet, when emerging evidence suggests the contrary…

    AND it seems that farmers using the RU-Ready crops use three times the amount of RU.

    So it's clearly good for Monsanto. But farmers, who have to buy seed every year? Ask Vendana Sheva how that's working out in India. Suicide rates have skyrocketed as farmers are bankrupted. What about genetic drift? Farmers who want to stay organic can't because these modified genes are spreading… AND Monsanto has been prosecuting farmers who never planted GMO, but got drifted, seed sifters who screened a crop that was drifted, anyone they even THINK might have their gene on site, whether intentional or not… Argentina had a NO GMO policy but suddenly the gene shows up in fields where it was never planted, and here comes Monsanto with their hand out…

    This is simply an effort for one company to control the marketplace from every possible angle and it needs to be trust-busted on that basis. One company should not own the right to grow food…

    Watch a movie called The World According To Monsanto, and all will be revealed…

  • Pingback: Scientists Decode The Strawberry, Now What? | Earth Eats - Indiana Public Media

  • Tracymikler

    say NO to GMO

  • Rawleighhamilton

    hohoho

  • 2250

    I like ow you say, “This study.” What study? You have no concrete evidence showing anything and you do not take into account several concerns that have been raised by FDA/scientists…not just “GMO critics.” Also, please take into account GMOs are substantially more expensive to grow, and the overall monetary benefit to farmers is nothing or very minimal. The reason farmers use GMOs is not because they have “economic benefits,” but because it’s easier to use them. It’s not as much work.

  • 2250

    I like ow you say, “This study.” What study? You have no concrete evidence showing anything and you do not take into account several concerns that have been raised by FDA/scientists…not just “GMO critics.” Also, please take into account GMOs are substantially more expensive to grow, and the overall monetary benefit to farmers is nothing or very minimal. The reason farmers use GMOs is not because they have “economic benefits,” but because it’s easier to use them. It’s not as much work.

  • FFA student

    If you are against farmers finding ways to feed the 10 billion people that are going to be living in this world in the year 2050, find a way to grow your own food. Society continues to complain with their mouth full. 

  • William barbee

    gmos are killing off the natral plants that grow around them

  • Ian Santopietro

    Says who?

  • Ian Santopietro

    This is more of a patent debate than having anything to do with GMO.

  • Demian Yutin

    Who’s been lying to you this whole time? Don’t believe everything you read on the web.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Escobedo/100001315773614 Jon Escobedo

    Rots the soil ? Ignorance knows no bounds good sir .

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media