A 2003 study which analysed the USDA’s own statistics since 1996 found that pesticide use has actually increased with the planting of genetically engineered crops. This is hardly surprising – the companies selling genetically engineered crops own 60% of the global pesticide market. These are not companies that want to see farmers using fewer chemicals, these are companies that want to profit by selling more of their chemicals.
More than 70% of the genetically engineered crops that are grown are crops engineered to be resistant to these companies’ own-brand chemicals. This means that a farmer can spray the field with the chemicals without harming the genetically engineered crop.
Herbicide-resistant genes are being transferred from genetically engineered crops to weeds via cross-pollination, and higher and higher doses of chemicals are being needed to have the desired effect, leading to a rise in herbicide use.