Included below is a passage regarding genetic diversity from a response provided by Martina Newell-McGloughlin, Director, International Biotechnology Program, University of California Davis.
“Biodiversity is actually enhanced by the adoption of GM crops. Those crops commercialized to date have reduced the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, through enhanced adoption of conservation tillage practices, reduction of pesticide use and use of more environmentally benign herbicides and through increasing yields to alleviate pressure to convert additional land into agricultural use.
With the introduction of GM crops, concern has been raised that crop genetic diversity will decrease because breeding programs will concentrate on a smaller number of high value cultivars. Studies that have been done to date (cotton in the US and India, soybeans in the US) find that the introduction of GM crops has not decreased crop diversity. From a broader perspective, GM technology has the potential to actually increase crop diversity by enhancing underutilized alternative crops, and facilitate more broad spread production of heirloom varieties that have fallen out of favor because of their poor agronomic performance, pest/disease susceptibility less adaptability and other undesirable characteristics. Advantageous genes can render them more suitable for widespread commercialization. In addition transgenic approaches are being used to improve so called orphan crops, such as sweet potato, cassava etc. potentially increasing options and improving diversity especially in sensitive regions.”
To read the full response, click here http://gmoanswers.com/ask/how-biodiversity-impacted-introduction-gm-crops-are-current-set-crops-being-replace-smaller-less.
If you have additional questions after reading this response, please ask: http://gmoanswers.com/ask-your-question.