12 Jul '11, 4pm
Pesticide policy expert Charles Benbrooke on how #GMO crops are creating a toxic treadmill #pesticides
over the last ten years on this question. It’s true that the crops that have been genetically engineered to express the Bacillus thuringiensis toxin, BT corn and BT cotton, have reduced insecticide use. But all of the herbicide tolerant crops, which would include Roundup Ready corn, cotton and soybeans, have increased herbicide use by much, much more, hundreds of millions of pounds over what herbicide use would have been had these herbicide-tolerant varieties not been commercialized. So when the biotech industry makes the claim that today’s genetically engineered crops have reduced and are reducing pesticide use, they’re factually wrong when you base the comparison on the pounds of all pesticides applied. So the relatively modest decrease in insecticides is more than made up by the huge increase in herbicides.