You would have thought that after 14 years of studying something you would expect to pretty much know it inside and out. But, this doesn’t appear to be the case with GMO’s.
Four academic researchers set to work on the 14-year study in 1998 and completed it in 2011, but their conflicting discoveries mean that even further studies are required to ascertain just what impact GMO’s do have on the environment.
The team of researchers carrying out the study was led by Federico Ciliberto, the economist of the University of Virginia.
They studied data that was extracted from 5,000 soybean and 5,000 maize farmers across the U.S in the longest ever GMO research. When questioned about the study Ciliberto said, “The fact that we have 14 years of farm-level data from farmers all over the U.S. makes this study very special. We had repeated observations of the same farmers and can see when they adopted genetically modified seeds and how that changed their use of chemicals.”
In maize and soybeans, there are two GMO varieties. One of these varieties kills insects, and the other tolerates glyphosate (a commonly used herbicide).
The results from the study showed that using more GMO’s increased the use of herbicides by as much as 28 percent due to the glyphosate-resistant weeds growing at the GMO farms. But, at the same time, GMO’s were seen to reduce the use of insecticides by around 11 percent.
So, it is clear from the contradicting results that more research needs to be done to investigate further the risk of GMO’s on farmers, consumers, and the environment.