Originally Posted by foodguy
OK, I'll rise to the bait. There is no correlation between GMOs and increased use of pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. In fact, GMOs can reduce the amounts used because they allow more efficient and targeted spraying.
Not so if this study
from Washington State is true.
Genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant crops have been remarkable commercial successes in the United States. Few independent studies have calculated their impacts on pesticide use per hectare or overall pesticide use, or taken into account the impact of rapidly spreading glyphosate-resistant weeds. A model was developed to quantify by crop and year the impacts of six major transgenic pest-management traits on pesticide use in the U.S. over the 16-year period, 1996–2011: herbicide-resistant corn, soybeans, and cotton; Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn targeting the European corn borer; Bt corn for corn rootworms; and Bt cotton for Lepidopteron insects.
Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011, while Bt crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%.
Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%. The magnitude of increases in herbicide use on herbicide-resistant hectares has dwarfed the reduction in insecticide use on Bt crops over the past 16 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Then you have Penn State saying a year or so ago regarding the planned escalation to stronger pest and herbicides to combat resistance that "new products are "likely to increase the severity of resistant weeds." As proven alread in Nebraska: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816151812.htm
When the farmers see their chemical-infused seeds NOT resisting bugs and weeds... they'll dump more chemicals on them. They already do.
Again- I'm not rabid anti-anything regarding feeding our planet, but we will never win this nuclear escalation against weed/insect resistance. Mother Nature always has the last say.
PS- as to GMO's having failed to market the benefit- I'd counter that they have no benefit to offer that is of interest to a SIGNIFICANT percentage of consumers. As Kimbrell wrote a few years ago, "Genetically modified foods do nothing for the "eating public". They provide no extra nutrition, flavor, safety or any other trait that people actually want."