A study by the New York Times claims genetically modified crops offer no significant yield benefit and lead to increased herbicide use. An article published over the weekend by the New York Times says: “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.” The study compared data from the U.S. and Canada with Europe, which the study says has largely rejected genetic modification, to reach its findings. The study says herbicide use has increased in the U.S. at a time when genetic engineering was touted to reduce chemical use. Citing an Agriculture Department study, the New York Times says herbicide use has grown two and half times in the last two decades. Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Rob Fraley, alleges the Times “cherry-picked” data to reflect poorly on the industry. He told the Times: “Every farmer is a smart businessperson, and a farmer is not going to pay for a technology if they don’t think it provides a major benefit,” adding that “biotech tools have clearly driven yield increases enormously.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.