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Failure to Yeld - Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops -- Union of Concerned Scientists

Failure to Yeld - Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops -- Union of Concerned Scientists

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Published by mauro.pennacchietti
For years the biotechnology industry has trumpeted that it will feed the world, promising that its genetically engineered crops will produce higher yields.

That promise has proven to be empty, according to Failure to Yield, a report by UCS expert Doug Gurian-Sherman released in March 2009. Despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields.

Failure to Yield is the first report to closely evaluate the overall effect genetic engineering has had on crop yields in relation to other agricultural technologies. It reviewed two dozen academic studies of corn and soybeans, the two primary genetically engineered food and feed crops grown in the United States. Based on those studies, the UCS report concluded that genetically engineering herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn has not increased yields. Insect-resistant corn, meanwhile, has improved yields only marginally. The increase in yields for both crops over the last 13 years, the report found, was largely due to traditional breeding or improvements in agricultural practices.
For years the biotechnology industry has trumpeted that it will feed the world, promising that its genetically engineered crops will produce higher yields.

That promise has proven to be empty, according to Failure to Yield, a report by UCS expert Doug Gurian-Sherman released in March 2009. Despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields.

Failure to Yield is the first report to closely evaluate the overall effect genetic engineering has had on crop yields in relation to other agricultural technologies. It reviewed two dozen academic studies of corn and soybeans, the two primary genetically engineered food and feed crops grown in the United States. Based on those studies, the UCS report concluded that genetically engineering herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn has not increased yields. Insect-resistant corn, meanwhile, has improved yields only marginally. The increase in yields for both crops over the last 13 years, the report found, was largely due to traditional breeding or improvements in agricultural practices.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: mauro.pennacchietti on Sep 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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failure to yield
Evaluating the Performance ofGenetically Engineered Crops
 
Doug Gurian-Sherman
Union o Concerned Scientists 
 April 2009 
Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops
failure to yield
 
ii 
Union o Concerned Scientists 
© 2009 Union o Concerned Scientists All rights reserved
Doug Gurian-Sherman
is a senior scientist in the Union o ConcernedScientists (UCS) Food and Environment Program.UCS is the leading science-based nonproit working or a healthy environmentand a saer world.The goal o the UCS Food and Environment Program is a ood system thatencourages innovative and environmentally sustainable ways to producehigh-quality, sae, and aordable ood, while ensuring that citizens have voice in how their ood is grown.More inormation about the Union o Concerned Scientists and the Food andEnvironment Program is available on the UCS website at
www.ucsusa.org 
.The ull text o this report is available online (in PDF ormat) at
www.ucsusa.org 
 or may be obtained rom:UCS PublicationsTwo Brattle SquareCambridge, MA 02238-9105Or, email
 pubs@ucsusa.org 
or call (617) 547-5552.
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