GMO Myths and Truths

Posted by Christine, July 11, 2012

Earth Open Source published its report on GMOs: Myths and Truths:

Genetically modified (GM) crops are promoted on the basis of a range of far-reaching claims from the GM crop industry and its supporters. They say that GM crops:

Are an extension of natural breeding and do not pose different risks from naturally bred crops

Are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally bred crops

Are strictly regulated for safety

Increase crop yields

Reduce pesticide use

Benefit farmers and make their lives easier

Bring economic benefits

Benefit the environment

Can help solve problems caused by climate change

Reduce energy use

Will help feed the world.
However, a large and growing body of scientific and other authoritative evidence shows that these claims are not true. On the contrary, evidence presented in this report indicates that GM crops:

Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops

Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts

Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety

Do not increase yield potential

Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it

Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant gsuperweedsh, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops

Have mixed economic effects

Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity

Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
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Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops

Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes . poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.
Based on the evidence presented in this report, there is no need to take risks with GM crops when effective, readily available, and sustainable solutions to the problems that GM technology is claimed to address already exist. Conventional plant breeding, in some cases helped by safe modern technologies like gene mapping and marker assisted selection, continues to outperform GM in producing high-yield, drought-tolerant, and pest- and disease-resistant crops that can meet our present and future food needs.