QHow are are GMOs currently affecting the environment, and are the effects expected to change in the future? Are there any environmental risks associated with GMOs?

How are are GMOs currently affecting the environment, and are the effects expected to change in the future? Are there any environmental risks associated with GMOs?

AExpert Answer

GMOs can affect the environment in many ways, and this response discusses the many ways in which GMOs can benefit the environment and the impact GM crops have on the environment. The data in this response from Brookes and Barfoot is from 2013, updated information can be found in their most recent report here.

 

Additionally, these infographics are helpful in explaining how GMOs can help preserve the habitat and H2O, protect the environment and improve soil health.

 

Kevin Folta, professor and chairman of Horticultural Sciences Department at University of Florida, addresses the topic of environmental risks here.

“Those improving plant genetics by breeding or biotech are sensitive to the environment, so just about every new plant, GM or from traditional breeding, is carefully evaluated for potential invasiveness. This can be an issue for sure with certain grasses and cereal crops, which currently are not GMO. We still have committees that discuss new releases and ask the breeders for data to ensure they have no likelihood of breaking containment.”

 

Based on the 20 years of scientific evidence of GMOs, we believe the benefits on the environment will continue into the future. Read more information about GMOs and the environment here.

Posted on March 9, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
Answer:
Posted on March 8, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
Posted on March 9, 2018
Anyone who has traveled through the Southeast and seen kudzu vines along the highway knows that plants can evolve into a negative outcome. There is a similar concern that a GMO can produce negative outcomes in the environment.  Therefore, prior to approving their commercial planting, GMOs must be tested in contained field trials to ensure that they do not behave in ways that could cause problems. To prevent negative outcomes, GMOs must not have the ability to cross with wild... Read More