Biodiversity – GM crops help reduce the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity

14.03.2011

A new peer-reviewed literature review on the impacts of GM crops on biodiversity revealed that they can help reduce the impacts of agriculture.  “Impacts of GM crops on biodiversity,” by Janet E. Carpenter, was published in the scientific journal, GM Crops.   

In the article, Carpenter describes research that shows that GM crops can help farmers increase their yields, leaving more land for biodiversity to thrive.  They also help to decrease tillage, which preserves soil and moisture.  Without  GM crops, an additional 2.64 million hectares would be needed for agriculture globally, researchers estimate.  Moreover, mounting evidence shows that GM crops do not have significant adverse effects for non-target organisms, such as soil organisms, non-target herbivores, and bees.In addition, GM crops can help suppress pests on neighbouring farms where conventional crops are grown.
 
Following a thorough review of 155 peer-reviewed articles, Carpenter found that “commercialised GM crops have reduced the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, through enhanced adoption of conservation tillage practices, reduction of insecticide use and use of more environmentally benign herbicides, and increasing yields to alleviate pressure to convert additional land into agricultural use.”