Monday, August 19, 2013

Europe's non-GMO Agriculture is Actually More Productive than US GMOs

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GlobalResearch.ca

The argument that the UK and the EU need GMO technology to increase production and improve its agriculture is flawed according to a new report. GM farming in the US is falling behind the UK and EU’s non-GM methods.

University of Canterbury (UC) researchers have found that the GM strategy used in North American staple crop production is limiting yields and increasing pesticide use compared to non-GM farming in Western Europe.

The team led by Professor Jack Heinemann analysed data on agricultural productivity in North America and Western Europe over the last 50 years.

Western Europe and North America are highly similar in types of crops grown, latitude, mechanization and farmer education.

The findings have been published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.

Non-GM leads the field

“We found that the combination of non-GM seed and management practices used by Western Europe is increasing corn yields faster than the use of the GM-led package chosen by the US,” said Prof. Heinemann.

The research showed rapeseed (canola) yields increasing faster in Europe without GM than in the GM-led package chosen by Canada; and is decreasing chemical herbicide and achieving even larger declines in insecticide use without sacrificing yield gains, all this whilst chemical herbicide use in the US has increased with GM seed.

Heinemann added that “Europe has learned to grow more food per hectare and use fewer chemicals in the process. The American choices in biotechnology are causing it to fall behind Europe in productivity and sustainability.”

Full article

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