Meta-Analysis Finds Big GMO Benefits

Mar 2, 2018  | 1 min  | Ep4328

Despite a potential backlash on U.S. grain exports from Trump’s new tariff, farmers continue to make plans for next season. Some of those selections will include genetically modified seeds.

GMOs were introduced nearly a generation ago. Extensive testing in the years that followed has left a data trail several studies long.

Peter Tubbs has the details. 

In an analysis of scientific investigation stretching over two decades, researchers at two Italian universities compiled data on genetically modified corn, soybeans, canola and cotton. This week, they released a report comparing yield, crop quality, target and non-target organisms, and biomass decomposition with non-GMO crops of the same type. 

The meta-analysis was based on 72 studies from six continents, and over 11,000 field observations. The results produced distinct improvement in several categories. 

Between 1996 and 2016 yield was improved by 24.5 percent while mycotoxin concentrations declined by one-third. The crop with the largest potential benefit was GMO corn, which represents only 30 percent of the global corn crop.

GMO crops that targeted insects reduced population and damage without affecting other organisms in the same environment. The study also found a consistent reduction in the application of herbicides and pesticides on GMO crops when compared to similar genomes.

Currently 38 countries, including 19 in Europe, prohibit the planting of GMO crops. 

For Market to Market, I’m Peter Tubbs.

A .pdf of the original study can be found here.

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