The New York Times (4/14, B3, Pollack) reports while "genetically engineered crops have provided 'substantial' environmental and economic benefits to American farmers...overuse of the technology is threatening to erode the gains," according to a report from the National Research Council. The document, which "is described as the first comprehensive assessment of the impact of genetically modified crops on American farmers," concludes "that the crops allowed farmers to either reduce chemical spraying or to use less harmful chemicals. The crops also had lower production costs, higher output or extra convenience, benefits that generally outweighed the higher costs of the engineered seeds."
Similarly, NPR's (4/13, Harris) "All Things Considered" reported, "A report released Tuesday by the National Research Council committee finds that crops produced through genetic engineering are on the whole beneficial for farmers who plant these seeds." However, the report "cautions that the technology could lose some of its power if it's not carefully managed in the future."
It is interesting to see how non-farmers perceive this report released yesterday by the National Research Council.
I am sure each one of us has our own view on it depending on our experience or lack of it.
GM crops have been debated pro and con since the day the Plant Variety Protection Act was modified in 1994 and GM crops released in 1995.
Some countries like New Zealand will not allow the seeds into their country where 85% of US crops are genetically modified so the reaction to GM crops has been all over the board.
Now we have limited research that even though glyphosate is safe to humans it really ties up nutrients in the soil, particularly the "rhizosphere" and some American farmers have stopped using glyphosate entirely. That doesn't leave many chemistry's left to control weeds.
I guess every technology has its pluses and minuses.