GMOs are not only safe for consumers, they also use less land, energy, and chemicals than non-GMO crops. That’s according to a new study from The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), which concludes that the carbon footprint of agriculture would certainly increase if the technology were no longer available.
Gains Foregone by Going GMO Free: Potential Impacts on Consumers, the Environment, and Agricultural Producers says that we shouldn’t underestimate the ability of genetic improvement techniques, such as GMOs, to meet the dietary needs of a growing population while limiting the impact of agricultural production on the environment. Innovation in agricultural production is necessary, it concludes, to combat the negative effects of climate change and new pest and disease pressures that result from trade between geographical regions.
Photo credit: Michael Kamiya harvests genetically engineered papayas on his family’s farm in Hawaii. (© Cornell Alliance for Science)