Thursday, July 21, 2011
Farmers using even more pesticides with GM crops
By Ken Roseboro
The Organic & Non-GMO Report
July 21, 2011
Proponents of genetically modified crops have long claimed that GM crops would reduce pesticide usage, but government statistics show that claim to be false.
According to the 2010 Agricultural Chemical Use Report released in June by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), use of the herbicide glyphosate, associated with genetically modified crops, has dramatically increased over the last several years, while the use of other even more toxic chemicals such as atrazine has not declined. The data show that overall use of pesticides has remained relatively steady, while glyphosate use has skyrocketed to more than double the amount used just five years ago.
The report shows that in the states surveyed, 57 million pounds of glyphosate were applied last year on corn fields. Ten years prior, in 2000, this number was only 4.4 million pounds, and in 2005, it was still less than half of current numbers at 23 million pounds.
GM proponents claim glyphosate reduces the need for farmers to use older, more toxic herbicides such as atrazine. Also not true. In 2000, 54 million pounds of atrazine were applied across surveyed states, by 2005 57.4 million pounds were used, and in 2010, the total dipped slightly to 51 million pounds.