In a recent expose in the New York Times, reporter Danny Hakim makes a compelling case that the promoters of genetically modified (GM) crops such as Monsanto are overselling their case. GM crops are supposed to have two main benefits: increased yields and reduced need for pesticides and herbicides.
In comparing American agriculture, where GM crops are common, to those of France and Western Europe where the seeds are rare, Hakim finds that over the last two decades France has been able to increase yields at about the same rate as the U.S. while much more effectively reducing pesticide and herbicide use.
Over two decades, the U.S. has reduced the use of insecticides and fungicides with GM crops by 33 percent. But at the same time, herbicide use has increased by 21 percent.
Compare this to France: Here, insecticide and fungicide use has been decreased by 66, while herbicide use has decreased by 33 percent.
Though the impact of eating GM crops remains controversial, one thing is not: pesticides and herbicides have been shown to be a significant risk to human health, particularly children. So why are we taking these risks? Read more.