NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Demise of Genetically-Engineered Crops Prematurely Reported

May 9, 2002

Just two years ago, anti-biotech activists were rejoicing at signs of the end to genetically-engineered farming. But that millennium didn't arrive for them and biotech plantings are increasing, thank you very much.

  • About 74 percent of this year's soy crop will be genetically engineered -- compared with 68 percent last year and 54 percent in 2000.
  • Some 32 percent of the corn crop will be of biotech varieties -- compared with 26 percent in 2001 and 25 percent the year before.
  • About 71 percent of this year's cotton crop will be bioengineered -- compared to 69 percent last year.
  • The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy will release a report in June showing that corn farmers are paying on average an extra $6.50 per acre for this technology and getting back $8 to $9 in return on their investment.

Nature also benefits, agricultural specialists report. For example, plants genetically engineered to resist the herbicide glyphosate allow the chemical to be sprayed "over the top" of crop and weeds alike, thereby reducing or eliminating the need to churn up the soil to kill weeds. This allows no-till farming, which tremendously reduces runoff and makes farmland more attractive to birds and other small wildlife.

Source: Michael Fumento (Hudson Institute), "Beating the 'Frankenfood' rap," Washington Times, May 9, 2002.


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