09.07.2022 |

New GMOs Will Not Reduce Pesticide Use

Reducing pesticide use by 50% by 2030 is a central goal of the EU Farm to Fork strategy, which aims to improve the sustainability of food and farming systems and reverse environmental degradation. However, there are claims that new genetically modified (GM) plants can help achieve this.

First-generation GM crops were introduced over 20 years ago with the same promises of pesticide reductions that are now being made for new GM crops. However, the data show that this first-generation of GM crops has increased pesticide use in countries where they are widely grown. The huge majority of GM crops are either herbicide tolerant or insect-resistant. In both cases, either weeds from the GM crop’s ecosystem or plant pests have in their turn evolved to become resistant or tolerant, leading to an increase in pesticide use.

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