State of Science :: Commentaries
Center for Food Safety Comments to AC21
Bill Freese of the Center for Food Safety performed a public service by providing the USDA's agricultural biotechnology advisory committee (AC21) some actual data on the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops and the impacts of GM crops on pesticide use.
Freese points out that herbicide-tolerant (HT) crop varieties account for 81 percent of global GM-crop plantings, and therefore, dominate the overall impact of agricultural GM technology.
Citing recent USDA data, Freese dismantles the myth that GM crops have reduced pesticide use. One major reason - the emergence of several glyphosate resistant weeds that are spreading fast across the nation's major production regions.
To combat resistant weeds in soybean fields in 2006, compared to 2005 herbicide treatments, conventional farmers had to apply 42 percent more glyphosate (Roundup and related products), and 129 percent more 2,4-D (known to trigger reproductive problems and birth defects in agricultural communities).