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Q: Hello and thank you for taking my question. I understand that selective breeding by humans has led to an agricultural industry reliant on species with a relatively small gene pool, which may lead to increased susceptibility to infection. Are there effort

Answered by Ksenija Gasic - Nov 19, 2018

A: That is a good question and the simple answer is yes. Under genetic modification in the broad sense, this would fall within random genetic modifications caused by applying radiation. Genetic modifications using Agrobacterium and or CRISPR/Cas 9 system are targeting single or a few genes, so rather “rectifying genetic susceptibilities” due to narrow genomes then by general increase in diversity. General increase in genetic diversity is done much more effectively by crossing with exotic or wild relatives of the agriculturally important species in so called pre-breeding activities, e [...]

Modern Agriculture


Q: Are we saving money or losing money by using GMOs?

Answered by Dr. Stuart Smyth - Nov 01, 2018

A: It all depends on who ‘we’ is. If ‘we’ is referring to farmers, then the answer is definitely making money. In 2014, one analysis of this issue examined the results of 147 studies on the economic impacts of GM crops, finding that on average, farmer profits rose by 68 percent. This assessment included studies of large GM crop production in countries such as the USA, Brazil and Argentina, but also small landholders with less than five acres of land in India, China and South Africa. In the subsequent years, further studies have been released that further support the evid [...]

Business Practices


Q: How are GMOs affecting farmers money wise?

Answered by Amanda Zaluckyj - Nov 01, 2018

A: Overall, the adoption of GM crops has benefited farmers financially. But that’s a very simplistic answer to a very complicated farm economy. There are now several GM crops on the market, and each one impacts a farm differently. Not to mention that farms aren’t one-size-fits-all, so each farmer considers the benefits and downsides to any crop to his individual farm. So, let me flush out my answer a bit. Generally, GM seed varieties tend to cost significantly more than their non-GM counterparts. That cost is usually offset by much higher yields. So, while farmers might pay more fo [...]

GMOs & Farmers


Q: The Ted Miner troll asked me if humans eat GMO soybeans. Search attempts only turn up organic soybeans or edamame no matter how I word the search phrase. What US company sells GMO soybeans or edamame for human consumption?

Answered by Debbie Mahedo - Nov 01, 2018

A: Thank you for your question.  Companies like mine, Bayer Crop Science, sell both GM and conventional soybean seeds.  Contrary to misconceptions there are only a few GMO crops in the grocery store available as whole produce. A few examples include sweet corn, summer squash, papayas, potatoes and apples - not soybeans. However, other food products may contain ingredients derived from GMO crops. A wide variety of foods including cereal, corn chips, veggie burgers and more are derived from genetically modified corn, soy, sugar beets and canola. GMO soybeans are primarily fiel [...]

Business Practices