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GM Crops Destroyed by US Drought but Non-GM Varieties Flourish

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

The United States is suffering the worst drought in 50 years. But crop damage may well have been avoided if high quality non-GM varieties were available to farmers. Further evidence is emerging that glyphosate-tolerant crops are ill-equipped to deal with drought, while high quality non-GM varieties are flourishing. Monopoly of the seed industry has left farmers unable to get non-GM varieties, despite the drought having global repercussions including steep rises of cereal prices and reduced meat production in many countries.

In a commentary circulated by GM Watch (UK), Howard Vlieger, a co-founder and agroecological farming advisor of Verity Farms in drought-stricken South Dakota the US, provides evidence from a farmer who has grown both GM and Verity Farms' non-GM varieties of soybean and corn side by side [1]. Non-GM soybean, grown in agroecological conditions to promote soil biodiversity and nutritional content is shown next to Monsanto's GM triple-stack GM corn, which is glyphosate-tolerant and additionally expresses two Bt insecticidal toxins, grown using conventional chemical industrial methods that include the use of Monsanto's glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup (Figure 1). As captured in the photograph, non-GM varieties appear greener, fuller, and healthier. These impressions are backed up by the far superior yield reported of non-GM corn, which averaged 100-120 bushels per acre (BPA) compared to the 8-12 BPA to 30-50 BPA of GM corn. 


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