Why Organic Food is Overrated
The critics of genetic engineering in agriculture—also known as “genetic modification” (GM) or gene-splicing—for decades have relied upon and promulgated The Big Lie: that food from genetically engineered crops is untested, unsafe, unwanted, and unneeded. All of these assertions, made by radical anti-technology organizations such as the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environmental Defense, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Center for Food Safety, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Greenpeace are demonstrably false.
The benefits of genetically engineered crops are proven. According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, from 1996 to 2010, the use of modern genetic engineering technology increased crop production and value by $78 billion; it obviated the need to apply of 443 million kg of pesticide active ingredients to crops; in 2010 alone, it reduced CO2 emissions by 19 billion kg, the equivalent of taking approximately 9 million cars off the road; it conserved biodiversity by saving 91 million hectares of land; and it helped alleviate poverty by increasing the agricultural productivity and food security of 15 million small farmers who are some of the poorest people in the world.