Friends of the Earth Report

Thursday 3 April 2008



  • The increase in the use of glyphosate, however, does not replace other herbicides. Between 2002 and 2006 the use of  2,4,D (a component of Agent Orange) on soy has more than doubled.
  • The use of atrazine (banned in Europe because of its dangers for health) on maize has increased by 12% between 2002 and 2005.



GMOs do not alleviate hunger or poverty in the world


  • Most commercialized GMOs are meant for animal feed, for the cattle and meat for our rich industrialized countries, rather than for feeding the poor. GMOs and the intensive agriculture model they promote contribute to the dying out of small peasants and of a family type of agriculture, and certainly do nothing to poverty [5]. 
  • The industry often claims that GMO cotton has increased yields and therefore reduced farmers poverty. However, a closer examination shows that favourable climate conditions, a better irrigation and the introduction of improved non-GMO seeds explain better yields. Furthermore, in several countries, the farmers who were paying additional costs for GMO cotton seeds have eventually spent more in chemical insecticides than those who were cultivating conventional cotton.



On the whole GMOs do not offer better yields than other seeds


  • Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture recognizes that no GMO on the market was modified to increase yields. The main factors influencing are time, irrigation and fertilisers, the quality of soil and the expertise of the farmers [6]. 



GMOs failed to gain acceptance in Europe


  • Less than 2% of the total cultivated maize in the European Union is genetically modified [7] and five countries have now banned Monsanto maize because of the ever increasing evidence showing a negative impact on the environment. A review of biotechnologies in Europe in 2007 confirmed that GMOs were failing. However, sustainable agricultural methods like organic agriculture are creating more and more jobs, developing rural economies and are safer for the environment [8].