Note: This thoroughly researched article debunks Monsanto claims that their GMO products will save us from starvation. Many studies done independently of each other in many other countries supports this position. Below is an update I received from the latest IPM Practitioner.
The latest IPM Practitioner is now online at http://www.birc.org/news.htm
The lead article Glyphosate, GMO Soybean Yields and Environmental Pollution reviews yields, fertilizer and pesticide use, and effects of glyphosate sprays on soil microbes and diseases in GMO soybeans.
A repeated mantra of the biotechnology industry is that GMOs are needed because they increase crop yields. In the case of GMO soybeans, yields generally have not increased. In fact, USDA data show that to maintain average yields, a 50-70% increase in fertilizer, and major increases in pesticides are needed.
Farmers have adopted GMO soybeans not because of yields, but because they are easier to grow. Entire fields are aerially sprayed with herbicide, killing weeds, but sparing the resistant crop. Farmers jumped to adopt this easy method of weed control. But the golden promise of better yields with less work has a darker reality—many weed species have become resistant to glyphosate.
To solve glyphosate resistance, new GMO crops resistant to both glyphosate and dicamba have been commercialized. But the new GMOs have caused problems. Dicamba sprays applied to GMO soybeans damaged about 3 million acres of vulnerable crops last year.
If you could pass this information along to those who might find it useful, I would appreciate it.
William Quarles, Ph.D.