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Posted On: Saturday, 8/31/2013 3:17 pm
A: Research has shown that the insecticidal proteins produced by insect-protected GM crops can be released into the soil.  The proteins are released from the roots as they develop and from plant tissues and pollen in the soil as they decay.  Therefore, assessment of the potential effects of these proteins on soil organisms is an important component of the regulatory review of insect-protected GM crops.  Direct testing is conducted against earthworms and springtails, both of which... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Thursday, 8/01/2013 1:18 pm
A: I've heard and read the claim that genetically modified crops have led to increased use of pesticides. This hasn't squared with my own experience, so I checked with a few neighbors and family members still on and around the family farm where I grew up. These are farmers who are 100-percent GM: herbicide-tolerant corn and soybeans and insect-control traits for both corn rootworm and corn borer in many of the corn hybrids they plant. And, for either crop, pesticide use has been somewhat reduced... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Thursday, 8/01/2013 1:24 pm
A: The need for insecticides on parent seed corn arises from the high value of the crop and a need to protect the yield, and in Hawaii, there is consistent pest pressure. Among the most significant insect pests here are thrips, which vector a virus that infects the corn, and corn earworm, the larvae of which attack and feed on the developing kernels. Both reduce yields; both need to be suppressed. The companies do apply pesticides for such insect pests. People have the impression that... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Wednesday, 7/31/2013 9:37 am
A: The prevalence of Roundup Ready crops has not caused weeds to become resistant to glyphosate; rather, resistance is a function of how glyphosate has been used in RR crops and in other areas.  In general, resistance to an herbicide is related to how it is used and the potential for resistance to evolve.  Because of the recognized safety and environmental benefits of glyphosate, many farmers relied on it as the sole herbicide to control weeds, and we now know that this practice was not... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Wednesday, 7/31/2013 9:37 am
A: Canadian regulators have recently authorized the planting of soybeans and feed corn tolerant to the herbicide 2,4-D. Similar approvals are being sought in the United States. Approvals for the import of 2,4-D-tolerant corn grain have also been granted recently by many other nations. While cultivation of 2,4-D-tolerant crops is expected in coming growing seasons, thus far no commercial planting of these crops has occurred.The reason crops are being stacked with 2,4-D tolerance is to undercut the... Continue Reading

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