New USDA GM Crops Report Includes Surprise Criticisms

Posted on Feb 24 2014 - 10:04pm by Sustainable Pulse

A new United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report released last week has come out with some surprise criticisms of GM crops.

The report appropriately named ‘Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States’ revealed that Genetically Modified (GM) crops (mainly corn, cotton, and soybeans) were planted on 169 million acres in 2013, about half of US land used for crops.

Despite the expected positive tone of the whole report due to the USDA’s usual total support of GM Crops, there were some telling signs that even the USDA has certain doubts creeping into their system.

To Read the Full USDA ERS Report Click Here

Sustainable Pulse has selected a number of the USDA’s criticisms:

  1. Over the first 15 years of commercial use, GE seeds have not been shown to increase yield potentials of the varieties. In fact, the yields of herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant seeds may be occasionally lower than the yields of conventional varieties…
  2. The fact that several researchers found no significant differences between the net returns of adopters and nonadopters of HT crops (particularly HT soybeans) despite the rapid adoption of these crops suggests that many adopters may derive nonmonetary benefits from HT adoption.
  3. Herbicide (Roundup) use on GMO corn increased from around 1.5 pounds per planted acre in 2001 to more than 2.0 pounds per planted acre in 2010. Herbicide use on non-GMO corn has remained relatively level during that same time frame, the ERS said.
  4. Herbicide toxicity may soon be negatively affected (compared to glyphosate) by the introduction (estimated for 2014) of crops tolerant to the herbicides dicamba and 2,4-D.
  5. HT adoption likely reduced herbicide use initially, but herbicide resistance among weed populations may have induced farmers to raise application rates in recent years, thus offsetting some of the economic and environmental advantages of HT corn adoption regarding herbicide use

Despite this criticism the ERS report was as expected mostly very supportive of GM Crops and also contained some worrying information for US citizens including: Researchers have thousands of tests underway in U.S. fields for new crops. As of September 2013, about 7,800 releases have been approved for genetically engineered (GE) corn, more than 2,200 for GE soybeans, more than 1,100 for GE cotton, and about 900 for GE potatoes.

Of those releases, 6772 were for GE varieties with herbicide tolerance, 4,809 for insect resistance, and 4,896 for product quality such as flavor or nutrition, and 5,190 for drought resistance.

Monsanto has the most authorized field releases with 6,782, followed by DuPont Pioneer, with 1,405.

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Sustainable Pulse is a global news outlet covering sustainable agriculture, GMOs and pesticides.

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. philip litrel February 25, 2014 at 18:10 - Reply

    keep me posted

  2. Steve February 26, 2014 at 22:23 - Reply

    Boycott GMO crops from your mouth. That is the only way to fix this mess of chemical contamination and mutation of our food supply. Laws and regulations will never get passed and enacted quick enough to overcome the destruction of the food our lives depend upon. So refuse to buy GMOs. It’s simple: no business = out of business.

    • Impossible March 3, 2014 at 17:45 - Reply

      Hard to boycott Gmo crops, when we aren’t even told which foods contain GMO crops, Also it is unlikely to ever become law requiring them to label GMO products in stores… God bless America right? We certainly don’t care ourselves…

  3. lisa scott March 5, 2014 at 10:30 - Reply

    I agree educate.. and share the information that is already out there.. This is affecting serotonin levels.. The last 20 years depression, Austism, bi polar , obesity have totally sky rocketed.. Our food is making us sick! Hidden chemicals and genetically monsterised foods are to blame.. we need to demand that our food be fit for human consumption. We need to demand that USA quit using us in their scientific experiments.

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