12 July 2002

Data shows economic success for GM crops

GENETICALLY modified crops are having a big impact on US farming, according to new data from the US National Center For Food and Agricultural Policy.

Considered to be the most comprehensive study to date on the economic and environmental benefits of biotech crops in the US it shows that the eight biotech crops grown in the US last year increased yields by 1.8m tonnes, saved growers £990m and reduced pesticide use by 21,000 tonnes.

Analysis of 32 biotech crops still under development suggests that if planted they would lift yield a further 4.5m tonnes, reduce grower costs by £264m and reduce pesticide use by 53,000t/year.

The greatest pesticide reductions were seen in herbicide-tolerant soybeans (13,000 tonnes) and herbicide-tolerant cotton (2800 tonnes).

&#8226 Plant Biotechnology: Current and Potential Impact for Improving Pest Management in US Agriculture is available on the NCFAP web-site (www.ncfap.org). &#42