Friday, November 11, 2016

Have GMOs Benefited Us?

by Levi Russell

A recent NY Times article claimed that GMO crops are not delivering the originally-promised benefits of higher yields and lower pesticide application rates. The article is short, so I recommend reading all of it, but here's how it starts:
About 20 years ago, the United States and Canada began introducing genetic modifications in agriculture. Europe did not embrace the technology, yet it achieved increases in yield and decreases in pesticide use on a par with, or even better than, the United States, where genetically modified crops are widely grown.
I later read a couple of articles that provided very detailed responses to the original. One is written by Andrew Kniss, a weed scientist, and the other by Jayson Lusk, an economist. Kniss uses more detailed versions of the data used in the NYT article and discusses the role of toxicity in pesticides. Lusk makes some great points about revealed preference. Both certainly worth a read.

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