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  • Wylliam Judd's picture
    Wylliam Judd
    07.01.2014
    Thanks for the honest answer. I think that issues like these illustrate the importance of maintaining a high variety of GMO and non-GMO plant species by saving and preserving declining and heirloom breeds.
  • Scott Lemoine's picture
    Scott Lemoine
    12.16.2013
    Are you saying this link to the test results from the U of Illinois was inspired by activist with something to gain by intentionally manipulating the results, or irresponsible journalism??
    httpwww.spectrumseed.comsitesdefaultfilesperformancetrialspdf201320University20of20Illinois.pdf

    Can you confirm or dismiss this test? If a non-GMO seed presently can out perform, or eventually out perform the GMO seeds, would you encourage a "turning away" from genetically modifying our entire food supply? Or does Monsanto hope to genetically modify as many sources of our food supply as they possibly can?
    • Joseph Najjar's picture
      Joseph Najjar
      12.22.2013
      In a nutshell, Yes. Like I stated below and the answer above reiterates, these test results can easily be taken out of context. GM crops are designed to deal with the stresses that crops face in a real farmers field. That includes, but isn't limited to, drought, shade, fungal or bacterial infection, viral infection, competition from weeds, and insect damage. If you were to grow organic seeds in those poor conditions, the plant would likely die, or at the very least, the yield would be greatly diminished. So, like the answer above states, if the conditions of the test fail to stress the plants in any of these ways, the genetic advantages given to the GM plant are lost. What good is drought tolerance if a researcher makes sure to give both plants plenty of water? Why have insect resistance if the researcher doesnt allow insects near the test plants? The point is that the experimental conditions do not mimic farm conditions at all, and therefor, they don't give an accurate prediction of their performance in the field
  • Joseph Najjar's picture
    Joseph Najjar
    12.14.2013
    oops, forgot to post the second journal:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2011.02378.x/abstract;jsessionid=943E930479FB27FD3F91BDE5E6EE25CD.f01t02?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

    sorry about that
  • Joseph Najjar's picture
    Joseph Najjar
    12.14.2013
    Irresponsible journalists and activists continue to misrepresent data and claim that GM crops actually reduce yields. For example, Geoffrey Lean recently published a story in the UK newspaper The Independent entitled Exposed: the Great GM Crops Myth. Lean concluded that yields were lower with GM crops based in large part on a study published by Dr. Barney Gordon of Kansas State University. Lean failed to understand or explain that the purpose of Gordon’s research was not to examine yields, but to look at how certain GM soybean varieties respond to manganese levels. Dr. Gordon has since published a response which characterizes the article as “a gross misrepresentation of my research and a good example of irresponsible journalism”.

    Despite Dr. Gordon’s clarification and statements, some anti-GMO activists continue to reference the Gordon study and the Lean article as evidence of lower yields with GMOs. Dr. Mae Wan Ho of the Institute for Science in Society cited the Gordon study as evidence that biotech crops do not increase yields. The Center for Food Safety also referenced the study as evidence of decreased yields.

    - http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/do-gm-crops-increase-yield.aspx

    Many will want to discount this source, because Monsanto is commenting directly on this. Here is also an article discussing possible yield gains to be seen in soybean using genetic engineering. These are just a few of the many examples of how GM crops obtain better yields. More often than not, we dont directly affect the yield, but rather make resistance or tolerance changes within the plant that leads to a healthier individual in the farmer's field. If a plant doesnt incur damage from pests, it will tend to spend more of its energy producing harvestable biomass, rather than fighting off attacks. Yield is what farmers make money on, if GM seeds truly didnt produce as much as non-GM seeds, there would be no discussion. The non-GM seeds would simply out-compete the GM seeds in the commercial market. Farmers prefer GM seed because they are easier to tend to, and produce more yield, making it more profitable for the farmer and consumers. If organic seed could out produce conventional seed, why would they mark up the prices 300%? Simple economics tells us it is because there is a much, much lower supply and it cost the farmer much, much more to produce it