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GM AND PESTICIDES – NEW REPORT

From the GM Watch newsletter.

+ GM CROPS CAUSE BIG JUMP IN PESTICIDE USE – REPORT
The rapid adoption by US farmers of GM corn, soybeans and cotton has promoted increased use of pesticides, an epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds, and more chemical residues in foods, according to an important new report by health and environmental protection groups.

The groups said research showed that herbicide use grew by 383 million pounds from 1996 to 2008, with 46 percent of the total increase occurring in 2007 and 2008.

The report was released by nonprofits the Organic Center (TOC), the Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Center for Food Safety (CFS).

The groups said that while herbicide use has climbed, insecticide use has dropped because of biotech crops. Still, that leaves a net overall increase on US farm fields of 318 million pounds of pesticides, which includes insecticides and herbicides, over the first 13 years of commercial use.

“This report confirms what we’ve been saying for years,” said Bill Freese, science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety. “The most common type of genetically engineered crops promotes increased use of pesticides, an epidemic of resistant weeds, and more chemical residues in our foods. This may be profitable for the biotech/pesticide companies, but it’s bad news for farmers, human health and the environment.”

Read more at the GM Watch website.

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