After 20 years of genetically modified crops are they a sucess?
After 20 years of genetically modified crops are they a sucess? 22 May 2020
I have never been that keen on the idea of eating genetically modified food. I understand the economic argument about same amount of land would give you a greater yield and that the crops would be more robust and hence would need less pesticides. But I have always had my concerns about if scientist truly understood all the implications of modify crops. In Europe generally the idea of fooling with nature caused widespread protests.
Genetically modified crops were more acceptable in North America and were introduced 20 years. Well I can safely say that any fears I had about any adverse side effects or any other fears of GM crops being "Frankenstein" food that is harmful to humans were laid to rest a long time ago. So I would say that GM crops are now more acceptable by the European general public, who here in the UK we probably eat GM crops that are imported from North America. So on the "Frankenstein" criteria they have been very successful.
But what about the economic arguments that were put forward 20 years ago. Data from the united nations reveals that there is no discernible advantage in yields between North America and Europe that didn't introduce GM crops. Since GM crops like corn, cotton and soyabeans were introduced into North America the use of toxic chemicals to kill insects and fungi has fallen by 33% but the spraying of herbicides has increased by 21%. In France, the use of insecticides and fungicides has fallen by 65% and herbicide spraying as fallen by 36%.
This suggests that GM crops aren't as robust as originally envisaged by scientist and they don't produce more abundant harvests either. So western europe didn't loose out by not introducing GM crops.
Where GM crops do seem to have made a difference according to Matin Qaim, a researcher at Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany, is significant yield gains from insect-resistant varieties of crops in the developing world, particularly in India.
Genetically engineered crops: Experiences and Prospects report see >> https://www.nap.edu/login.php?record_id=23395