Increased Yield (Under experimentation)
- Increased yield GM plants are promoted by Monsanto as part of the global solution to impending food shortage crisis, although there are currently no GM crops available to increase yields.
- GM modiefied plants supposed to increase yields, but DON’T. A new study shows that yield improvements have actually come as a result of improved farming practices and traditional plant breeding, NOT gene splicing, and concluding that modified crops won’t help solve poverty, hunger, or climate change. Despite these findings, 13.3 million farmers continue to plant modified seeds.
- Livestock producers and fee makers are pushing for this technology
- a 2008 report of 400 scientists approved by 50 countries casts serious doubt on GM crop role in addressing food security – and pointed to more effective alternatives.
Climate Resistant Plants (“Climate ready”) (Under experimentation)
There is a significant investment into research to develop GM crops that may be able to adapt to changing climate conditions like drought and extreme temperatures – E.g. one project called “Water Efficient Maize for Africa” to develop drought-tolerant corn. However, substantial technical obstacles are delaying this possibility for 5–10 years, or maybe never.
How widespread is GMO cultivation?
Gm Crops Are World-Wide. America currently leads the world in GM crop acreage with 123 million – followed by Argentina (42 million) and Brazil (23 million). Soybeans topped the list of GM crops worldwide at 60%, followed by maize (corn) at 24% and cotton 11%. GM crops available commercially since 1996 – GM planted acreage has been growing at annual double-digit rates. Small farmers in countries such as China, India, and Brazil are making more use of GMO plants that allow them to grow more crops while reducing pesticide use.
How much of our crops are genetically modified?
GM food crops grown by U.S. farmers include corn, cotton, soybeans, canola, squash, papaya, alfalfa, sugar beets – Other commercially available GM crops, such as potatoes, and sweet corn, have yet to be widely adopted by farmers. Currently on the way is GM salmon, which will be the first approved non-crop GM food. As of 2011, close to 100% of the following crops and foods are genetically modified:
- >95% of soybean crops are engineered not to die when sprayed with Round-Up herbicides
- 86% of corn is genetically engineered to produce an insecticide or survive applications of herbicides
- 95% of Canola Oil
- 93% of Cottonseed Oil – is a form of GM variety
- 95% of sugar beets (2008-2009) were “Round-Up” ready; the courts then banned planting of GM sugar beets and reapproved it in 2011.
- Nearly ⅓ of the agricultural land in the U.S.A. is planted in gene-altered crops. The U.S., Canada and Argentina together grow 80% of all commercial biotech crops.
- Beet sugar has recently entered the market.
- Rice is next – Iran is already using gene-altered rice and in China, scientists are developing a wide variety of modified crops. Rice comprises nearly half the total calories eaten by the human race.
- More than half the fields in Argentina and Paraguay are sown with GMO plants.
- Some European countries have banned GMOs – with advocacy groups long pointing out the environmental risks of GMO crops.
- Bulgaria effectively banned the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops for scientific and commercial reasons (3/2010).
- Germany has banned the cultivation of GM corn (4/2009) – claiming that Monsanto’s MON810 is dangerous for the environment. MON810 produces a toxin to fight off the voracious larvae of the corn borer moth.
- Five E.U. member states currently apply ‘safeguard clauses’ on GMOs in the EU banning cultivation of MON810 – Austria, France, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.
- Several other European countries are now growin some biotech crops – Spain uses them WIDELY.
GMO’s Are Contaminating Non-GMO Crops
Even if the U.S.D.A acts on the spread of GM crops in the U.S., it won’t stop their proliferation in other nations – Almost 100 million acres of GM crops are planted in the U.S. It is becoming increasingly difficult for non-GMO crops in the area to be truly “organic”, as GM crops produce pollen that contaminates the organic crops as far as the winds, birds and bees will carry them.
Monsanto controls Agribusiness
GM seeds are patented – Monsanto’s GM crop traits are found in more than 85% of global GM crop hectares, and the company controls 23% of the global proprietary seed market. The cost of GM seed is sky-rocketing.
Seed used to be fairly inexpensive – largely due to the practice of planting seed collected and saved from the previous year. With GM seeds, this traditional farming practice is no longer employed and farmers must buy new seed each year.
GM Seed prices have recently sky-rocketed – the 2009 Organic Centre report, titled The Magnitude and Impacts of the Biotech and Organic Seed Price Premium, states that farmers who purchase Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 soybeans in 2010 will pay 42% more per bag than they paid in 2009. Contrast this to the overall rise of 63% in soybean seed prices over the last 25 years.
Summary of GMO Results after 30 years
After 30 years of GMO experimentation, the data does not show ANY positive results.
Take a look at the chart: Summary of GMO Results.