There is strong evidence that herbicide use has indeed increased in GMO crops (corn, soybean, and cotton), much as the critics have suggested. However, the evidence also suggest that herbicide use has increased even faster in the non-GMO crops rice and wheat. This suggests that there is an overall trend for increasing herbicide use in all crops, irrespective of whether GMO varieties are available. It is even plausible, based on these data, that GMO crops have slowed the increase in herbicide use (though it is impossible to say for sure).
GUEST AUTHOR: Anastasia Bodnar
This is a part of the series The Promise of GMOs. Do GMOs live up to the promises of the biotech industry? In the case of decreasing herbicide use and improving the environmental impact, there is data to back up industry claims.
How often have you heard some version of:
“I don’t want to eat food that makes insects stomachs explode! / I don’t want to eat food that’s been bred to withstand being drenched in toxic herbicides”
This may be the most common misconception out there. Let’s try to reconnect it with reality a little bit.