Feeding The World Or Failing To Yield?

By: Emily Cassidy (EWG)

Advocates of genetically engineered crops claim they will help us “feed the world” by improving crop yields. But is there any actual evidence that GE crops have actually delivered better yields than conventional breeding techniques?

Nature News article published this week (Sept. 16) highlighted efforts to improve crop yields in dry regions of Africa by the Drought-Tolerant Maize for Africa Project. The need for drought-tolerant crops is especially dire in Africa, where drought can reduce yields by up to 25 percent.

Since 2006, Nature reported, the researchers at the Drought-Tolerant Maize project have developed more than 153 new varieties of crops, using both conventional breeding techniques and genetic engineering, to see which varieties would better withstand harsh drought conditions. What they found was that conventionally bred varieties of crops had up to 30 percent better yields than those that were genetically engineered.

So it turns out that in the places that most need better yields, genetically engineered crops aren’t getting the job done. (Full story here)… 

CC Photo courtesy of: Flickr, user WorldFish.. 

Copyright © Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org. Reproduced with permission


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