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Study Confirms: Herbicide Use Has Soared Under GMO Crops

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herbicides pesticides gmo studyGenetic modification increases the need for pesticide use, according to a new study.

One of the primary marketing ploys often utilized when promoting GMO seeds is that significantly less chemical pesticides are required during the non-organic growing process.

Charles Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, authored the study, which examined the first 16 years of GMO crops. It was published in the Environmental Sciences Europe.

Herbicide resistant (HR) crop technology has led to a 527 million pound increase in herbicide use across the board during the planting of the top three genetically modified crops in the United States, according to the study.

An excerpt from the study reads:

Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied.

The promise of a decreased need to purchase and use chemical pesticides on genetically modified crops is often noted as one of the reasons why so many American farmers have gone the hybrid seed route.

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A Monsanto report from 2009 brags that 95 percent of all sugarbeets plated in the United States were genetically engineered to tolerate “high doses” of Roundup Ready. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics indicate that 85 percent of all corn and 93 percent of all soy planted in America is of the herbicide-resistant genetically modified variety. A total of 90 percent of canola oil produced in the country and 93 percent of cottonseed oil is also reportedly of the genetically engineered herbicide resistant variety.

The spread of superweeds, or glyphosate resistant weeds, is one of the reasons why more pesticides are believed to be needed, as previously reported by Off The Grid News and as confirmed in the study. The study said:

Herbicide-tolerant crops worked extremely well in the first few years of use, but over-reliance led to shifts in weed communities and the emergence of resistant weeds that have, together, forced farmers to incrementally: increase herbicide application rates (especially glyphosate); spray more often, and; add new herbicides that work through an alternate mode-of-action into their spray programs.

Superweeds possibly caused by gentically modified plants and glyphosate chemical pesticides are a growing problem, according to agriculture experts, with huge weeds becoming more prevalent in pastures and fields around the globe. Increased exposure to chemical pesticides and to herbicide-resistant crops is being blamed for the growth of the superweeds, says Natural News. One weed, the Palmer amaranth pigweed, reportedly can grow 10 feet tall at an inch-per-day rate and possesses stems thick enough to damage agriculture equipment.

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