Do GM crops help reduce pesticide and herbicide applications?


Herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant plants account for more than 95% of the GM crops at present; both contribute to a reduction in farmer’s application of plant protection products. A recent large project made an inventory of agrochemical use per hectare of GM crops compared with conventional crops by collecting data from public sources, including scientific literature and reports published by dedicated institutions. Several major studies in the US reported lower herbicide use (up to 25-33%) in herbicide-resistant crops (oilseed rape, cotton, maize, soybean) compared to their conventional counterparts. The results have been published in a comprehensive article by Kleter, et al.