GM Crops Do Not Offer Yield Benefits

Photo Credit: Jeff Weese Photo Credit: Jeff Weese

In a study published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, University of Canterbury researchers found that the biotechnologies used in North American staple crop production are lowering yields and increasing pesticide use compared to Western Europe. Researchers analyzed data on agricultural productivity in North America and Western Europe over the last 50 years, and found that the combination of non-GM seed and management practices used by Western Europe are increasing corn yields faster than the use of the GM-led packages chosen by the US. They also found that Western Europe was decreasing chemical herbicide and had even larger declines in insecticide use without sacrificing yield gains, while chemical herbicide use in the US has increased with GM seed. “Despite the claims that GM might be needed to feed the world, we found no yield benefit when the United States was compared to W. Europe, other economically developed countries of the same latitude which do not grow GM crops,” the researchers state in their conclusion.