Home > Uncategorized > GMOs and pesticide use (an email from Greg Conko)

GMOs and pesticide use (an email from Greg Conko)

October 28, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here is a further Mark Bittman column on GMOs, arguing against GMOs on the grounds that they lead to greater use of chemicals and pesticides.  I would start with quite a simple point, namely to the extent there is a problem with chemicals and pesticides (as there may be with or without GMOs), let’s regulate that problem directly.  Somehow that option is not put on the table as an alternative to what is widely recognized as a rather dubious referendum.  In any case, I posed the question about GMOs and pesticides to Gregory Conko, who has written a book on GMOs, and he responded to me (Greg’s email goes under the fold)…

GC: Note that “pesticide” is a broad term that includes both insecticides and herbicides, as well as fungicides, nematocides, rodenticides, etc. Use of GE crops has had a measurable impact on insecticide and herbicide use, with insecticide use incontrovertibly down and a mixed record on herbicide use. And because there is much more acreage planted with GE herbicide tolerant varieties than with GE insect resistant varieties, herbicide use trends tend to drown out insecticide use trends.  Critics tend to obfuscate these distinctions by using the term “pesticide”, rather than the more specific sub-types, probably because they know casual readers will think “insecticides”.  But even the herbicide data need some additional context.

via GMOs and pesticide use (an email from Greg Conko).

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