LONDON — The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.
But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.
SUMMARY: "Monsanto Co has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker."
Monsanto Co (MON.N) has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker.
More than 81 genetically modified foods have been approved for sale in Canada. But opponents, including Victoria councillors Ben Isitt and Jeremy Loveday, are worried that engineered plants and foods have not been adequately tested for long-term impacts on human and environmental heath. Photograph By PAUL CHIASSON, Canadian Press
Genetically engineered crops, plants and trees are not welcome in Victoria.
Thousands of cotton farmers in India have switched from GM Bt cotton to a non-GMO local variety EXCERPT: Monsanto's Bollgard II technology, introduced in 2006, was slowly becoming vulnerable to bollworms… as any technology has a limited shelf life. — In a tiny hamlet at the heart of the cotton belt in northern India, Ramandeep Mann planted Monsanto's genetically modified Bt cotton seed for over a decade, but that changed after a whitefly blight last year.
What better way to discredit your critics than to rope in 107 naive Nobel Prize winners (all without relevant expertise) to criticize your opposition?
But such tactics are not new. Long ago, the GMO industry spent well over $50 million to promote “Golden Rice” as the solution to vitamin A deficiency in low income countries. They did so well before the technology was completely worked out, let alone tested. Let alone consumer acceptability tested. Let alone subjecting it to standard phase 2 and 3 trials to see if it could ever solve problems in the real world.
Brian Dowd-Uribe and Matthew A. Schnurr explain how a pro-GMO myth of superior yield and performance for Bt cotton was created – and how it imploded
The articles below repay careful reading in full. Note especially the highly questionable way in which the supposed yield advantage for GM Bt cotton over conventional cotton was calculated. It’s hard to believe that this claim of a yield advantage made it into peer-reviewed journals – yet it did.
Bt cotton in Africa: What happened in Burkina Faso?
Glenn Davis Stone
fieldquestions.com, August 6, 2016
Pyramided Bt corn hybrids, which feature two traits targeting the western corn rootworm, have long been a stronghold against rootworm damage for Corn Belt farmers.
That defense is weakening this year after university entomologists have confirmed resistance in rootworm populations to eCry3.1Ab (found in hybrids containing Duracade) in Iowa and Minnesota cornfields and lower levels of resistance to Cry34/35Ab1 (the Herculex RW trait), found in SmartStax, AcreMax XTreme and Agrisure 3122 hybrids.
When Tom Barber, a scientist at the University of Arkansas who studies weeds, drives the country roads of eastern Arkansas this summer, his trained eye can spot the damage: soybean leaves contorted into cup-like shapes.
He's seeing it in field after field. Similar damage is turning up in Tennessee and in the "boot-heel" region of Missouri. Tens of thousands of acres are affected.