Tuesday, May 01, 2007

7 reasons why you should support the production of genetically modified food:

1) Safer Chemical Use than Conventional Synthetic and Organic Biological Controls
2) Improved Soil Conservation
3) Improved Nutrient Profiles
4) Carbons Sequestration - Carbon Credits
5) Improved Biodiversity
6) Decreased Dependence on Fossil Fuel
7) Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Explanatory Notes:
Roundup Ready technology has allowed for glyphosate herbicide to substitute for 7.2 million pounds of other chemicals that are more toxic and persistent in the environment. Bt expressed in plants is much safer than organic broadcast Bt, sulfur, copper, or conventional synthetics. Bt and glyphosate resistant varieties make strip tillage, no- till, and reduced tillage practices, as well as crop rotation more viable and profitable. These practices improve soil conservation, require less fossil fuel use, reduce greenhouse gas production, and complement carbon sequestration efforts as opposed to tillage practices of organic and conventional agriculture. By using safer more precise chemicals combined with better genetics, crop yields are optimized disturbing less land and maintaining more diversity among both pest and non pest populations. The complementary relationship between reduced tillage, carbon sequestration, and the ability to produce carbon credits is certainly something to consider if we are to ever implement Kyoto style emissions standards.
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Sources:
Agricultural Outlook ERS/USDA Aug 2000
Leonard, Roger, LSU Agricultural Center and Dr. Ronald Smith, Auburn University.
Nelson, Gerald C. “Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture: Economics and Politics.” San Diego Academic Press 2001. Preston, Christopher. “Peer Reviewed Publications on the Safety of GM Foods. Results of a search of the PubMed database for publications on feeding studies for GM crops.” Senior Lecturer in Weed Management,

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Industrial agriculture is extremely detrimental to the environment whether or not the crops are genetically modified. GM crops aren't solving industrial agriculture's problems, they're just shifting the problems around. Organic is the way to go.

agEconomist said...

"You couldn't feed more than 4 billion people on an all organic diet."
-Norman Borlaug, Winner, Nobel Prize

Organic cultural practices require tillage and the use of manures, which both contribute to erosion and pollution. Organic production also can have yields as low as 10-40% less than conventional methods. Thus feeding the world via organic methods would require more land i.e. destruction of habitat and biodiversity.

Organic producers use 'naturally' derived substances such as copper sulfate and pyrethrum, which are just as toxic and carcinogenic as many conventional chemistries.

See my other posts related to organic production;
http://ageconomist.blogspot.com/search/label/organic%20food