MYTH #3: GE crops eliminate pesticides and are necessary for environmentally sustainable farming.
REALITY: Farmers who grow GE crops actually use more herbicide, not less. For example, Monsanto created Roundup-Ready (RR) soy, corn and cotton specifically so that farmers would continue to buy Roundup, the company’s best-selling chemical weed killer, which is sold with RR seeds3. Instead of reducing pesticide use, one study of more than 8,000 university-based field trials suggested that farmers who plant RR soy use two to five times more herbicide than non-GE farmers who use integrated weed-control methods. GE crops may be the greatest threat to sustainable agriculture on the planet. Many organic farmers rely on a natural bacterial spray to control certain crop pests. The advent of genetically engineered, insect-resistant crops is likely to lead to insects that are immune to this natural pesticide. When this biological pesticide is rendered ineffective, other farmers will turn to increasingly toxic chemicals to deal with the “superbugs” created by GE crops. Meanwhile, organic farmers will be out of options.
MYTH #6: GE foods are necessary to feed the developing worlds growing population.
REALITY: In 1998, African scientists at a United Nations conference strongly objected to Monsanto’s promotional GE campaign that used photos of starving African children under the headline “Let the Harvest Begin.” The scientists, who represented many of the nations affected by poverty and hunger, said gene technologies would undermine the nations’ capacities to feed themselves by destroying established diversity, local knowledge and sustainable agricultural systems7. Genetic engineering could actually lead to an increase in hunger and starvation. Biotech companies like Monsanto force growers to sign a technology use agreementä when growing their patented GE crops which stipulates, among other things, they the farmer can not save the seeds produced from their GE harvest. Half the world’s farmers rely on saved seed to produce food that 1.4 billion people rely on for daily nutrition.
Myths & Realities of GE Crops The True Food Network
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