Environmental concerns

Powerful chemical companies that are engineering our food supply claim their novel crops will reduce pesticide use, improve nutrition, and feed the world.

But after 20 years of promises, none have materialized. There's not one genetically engineered seed on the market today providing superior nutrition, flavor or yield. World hunger has increased since genetically engineered crops were introduced almost 20 years ago.

More pesticides

The vast majority of genetically engineered crops — about 75 percent — are designed to tolerate repeat applications of herbicides. Critics say the seeds are a vehicle to sell more pesticides. That, in fact, is what the data shows.

A study, done by a Washington State University agricultural economist found genetically engineered crops increased overall pesticide use by more than 400 million pounds over the first 16 years.

Another study based on 50 years of yield data, found no increase in yields between genetically engineered crops and conventional crops. Published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, the study also found GE crops are associated with higher pesticide usage

Superweeds

Genetically engineered cropping systems are causing epidemics of Superweeds across the country. Farmers have grown so many Roundup Ready crops (corn, soy, canola, and cotton) on the same fields that the weeds have become resistant to the Roundup herbicide.

In Washington state, genetically engineered (GE) traits have transferred to the already troublesome weeds known as cheat grass, Russian thistle, and prickly lettuce. These Superweeds are infesting farm fields and roadsides, driving farmers and work crews to rely on more costly manual labor, or use more powerful herbicides. Read more ...

These superweeds and the responses translate into significant economic losses for farmers. According to Penn State University's David A. Mortensen, grappling with glyphosate resistance was costing farmers nearly $1 billion per year in 2011. Read more ...

According to Monsanto press releases, company representatives are encouraging farmers to mix glyphosate with older herbicides, such as 2,4-D, an herbicide banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway over links to cancer, reproductive harm and mental impairment. 2,4-D is also well-known as a component of Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War.

Threatens bees and pollinators

Most genetically engineered corn seed is treated with neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides that three separate studies have confirmed may be the major — if not the precipitating — cause of Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybees.

More about: GE foods, I-522, labeling

Related Content

PCC Sound Consumer

enewsletter