Originally published December 3 2009
Genetically Engineered Crops have Led to Massive Increases in Pesticide Use
by Ethan Huff
(NaturalNews) According to a recent report compiled from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, the growing of genetically engineered crops has led to a 383 million pound increase in U.S. pesticide use during the time period spanning from 1996 to 2008. The Organic Center (TOC), the Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS), and the Center for Food Safety (CFS) jointly released the report that illustrates the environmental hazards posed by the farming of GMO crops.
Since their initial unveiling, GMOs have been touted by the agricultural biotechnology industry as the discovery that will end world hunger and improve the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Among their many other negative consequences, "herbicide-tolerant" (HT) GMO crops have resulted in new herbicide-resistant weeds that are sprouting up in farmers' fields. When farmers respond by increasing pesticide use, ever-stronger "superweeds" continue to appear.
GMO seeds are significantly more expensive than natural seeds and have been continuing to climb in price over the years. Big AgriBio defends the higher costs by suggesting the farmer benefit from not having to use as much pesticide on GMO crops. The reality is that farmers are using much more pesticide in order to fight superweeds.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's RoundUp herbicide, is no longer effective at treating the weeds that result from the planting of "RoundUp-ready" crops. Thus millions of acres of farmland are now plagued by superweeds that are destroying the environment, ruining crops, and ultimately ruining farmers' businesses.
All industry promises of increased yields, decreased pesticide use, and cures for world hunger have proven to be entirely bogus. Not one claim made by the biotechnology industry concerning the benefits of GMOs has proven true. Independent scientific reports continue to show that industry assertions in favor of GMOs are patently false.
Pesticide residue in foods that contain GMO ingredients is also significant. Such pesticides are linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological disorders, birth defects, and other bodily harm. GMOs themselves are also implicated in a host of bodily disorders including digestive problems and the perpetuation of GMO fragments in the body. No long-term studies have ever verified the safety of GMOs and most independent research proves them to be dangerous in a number of different ways.
Americans must step up and demand mandatory labeling of products that contain GMO ingredients. If more people realized the extent to which GMOs have contaminated the food supply, the demand for GMO-free foods would greatly increase. Growers, producers, and retailers would surely take notice and the market would correct the problem by providing wholesome, organic options that are free of toxic GMO contaminants. Transparency in labeling would do much to curb the use of GMOs.
Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Thirteen Years - The Cornucopia Institute
Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops - Union of Concerned Scientists
Pesticide Resistant Weeds Could Be Problem - The Epoch Times
About the authorEthan Huff is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast world of natural foods and health, digging deep to get to the truth. He runs an online health publication of his own at http://wholesomeherald.blogspot.com.
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