Regarding sustainability, I was hoping you could address the findings in the research study conducted by Canterbury University Professor Jack Heinemann, based on an analysis of data on agricultural productivity in north America and Western Europe over the last 50 years. The results have been published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. The following is a quote that summarizes the findings. More can be read at the link following:
“We found that the combination of non-GM seed and management practices used by western Europe is increasing corn yields faster than the use of the GM-led packages chosen by the US.
“Our research showed rapeseed (canola) yields increasing faster in Europe without GM than in the GM-led package chosen by Canada and decreasing chemical herbicide and even larger declines in insecticide use without sacrificing yield gains, while chemical herbicide use in the US has increased with GM seed.
“Europe has learned to grow more food per hectare and use fewer chemicals in the process. The American choices in biotechnology are causing it to fall behind Europe in productivity and sustainability.”
“Agriculture responds to commercial and legislative incentive systems. These take the form of subsidies, intellectual property rights instruments, tax incentives, trade promotions and regulation. The incentive systems in North America are leading to a reliance on GM seeds and management practices that are inferior to those being adopted under the incentive systems in Europe.
“The decrease in annual variation in yield suggests that Europe has a superior combination of seed and crop management technology and is better suited to withstand weather variations. This is important because annual variations cause price speculations that can drive hundreds of millions of people into food poverty.”