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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2007 / GM crops still not performing

GM crops still not performing

January 8, 2007 - A new report released on January 9 shows that genetically modified (GM) crops have failed to address the main challenges facing farmers around the world, and more than 70% of large scale GM planting is still limited to two countries (U.S. and Argentina).
0109

MEDIA ADVISORY

Friends of the Earth International

January 8, 2007

New report: GM crops still not performing

KUALA LUMPUR (MALAYSIA), LAGOS (NIGERIA), BRUSSELS (BELGIUM), January 8, 2007 - A new report released on January 9 shows that genetically modified (GM) crops have failed to address the main challenges facing farmers around the world, and more than 70% of large scale GM planting is still limited to two countries (U.S. and Argentina).

The new report, 'Who Benefits from GM crops? An analysis of the global performance of genetically modified (GM) crops 1996-2006' [1] also notes that the 'second generation' GM farm crops with attractive 'traits' long promised by the industry has failed to appear.

"No GM crop on the market today offers benefits to the consumer in terms of quality or price, and to date these crops have done nothing to alleviate hunger or poverty in Africa or elsewhere," said in Nigeria Nnimmo Bassey of Friends of the Earth Africa.

"The great majority of GM crops cultivated today are used as high-priced animal feed to supply rich nations with meat," he added.

According to the report, GM crops commercialized today have on the whole increased rather than decreased pesticide use, and do not yield more than conventional varieties. The environment has not benefited from them, and GM crops will become increasingly unsustainable over the medium to long term.

The Friends of the Earth International report launch coincides with the annual release of the "Global Status of Commercialized Biotech" report of the industry-sponsored International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) which promotes GM crops as a key solution to hunger and poverty. The GM crops industry continues to misleadingly claim that GM crops play a role in solving world hunger.

2006 A BAD YEAR FOR GM CROPS

  • In 2006 the US Department of Agriculture, a chief proponent of GM crops, for the first time acknowledged that GM crop yields are not greater than those of conventional crops, and a compelling number of studies by independent scientists demonstrate that GM crop yields are lower than, or at best equivalent to, yields from non-GM varieties.
  • In 2006 a European Union-wide survey of public views reconfirmed the European public's opposition to GM food.
  • In 2006 the rice food supply on four continents was contaminated with an illegal GM rice supposedly field-tested only until 2001, proving once again the inability or unwillingness of the biotech industry to control its products.
  • In the last decade cotton production has declined in the majority of countries that have adopted GM cotton, including Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, South Africa and Australia, and significant drops in GM cotton production specifically are forecast in 2006 for South Africa and Mexico.
  • As of December 2006 only four crops (maize, cotton, soy and canola) with only two traits (herbicide tolerance and insect resistance) were widely cultivated by the world's biggest producer of GM crops, the United States, despite the fact that it approved 71 distinct biotech 'events' for commercial use so far.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

In Africa: Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth Africa, Tel: +234 8037274395 (mobile) or +234 52602680 (office)

In Asia: Nizam Mahshar, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, Tel: +60194777755

In Europe: Adrian Bebb, Friends of the Earth Europe, Tel +4916094901163

In South America: Karen Nansen, Friends of the Earth Uruguay, Tel: +598 99 524 003

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] The executive summary of the report is available at http://www.foei.org/publications/pdfs/gmcrops2007execsummary.pdf (full report at

The full report is available here

A three-page 'Highlights of the report' is available at: http://www.foei.org/publications/pdfs/gmcrops2007highlights.pdf

 

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