The use of GM crops by European farmers could help them to grow crops
more efficiently while providing sustainable options that can improve
farmland, wildlife and diversity. Very real environmental benefits
are being realised by farmers in those countries already using agriculture
biotechnology commercially. Scientific and practical evidence has been
gathered over many years. Some of the environmental advantages of GM
Pest Resistance - Genetic modification has been
used to make food crops resistant to pests.
Weed Control - Whilst many herbicides (weed killers)
are readily available, they can be complex to use; GM crops can offer
a powerful and eco-friendly substitute.
Energy Savings - The evidence so far suggests
that GM herbicide tolerant and insect resistant crops require fewer
chemical sprayings. There are potential energy savings on the farm:
the use of tractor diesel is reduced as fewer sprayings means fewer
trips across the fields, making a contribution to energy saving and
the reduction in greenhouse gases.
Reduced Ploughing - Certain GM crops (such as
GM Winter Oilseed Rape) ensure minimal soil cultivation, promotes
soil moisture conservation, whilst reducing fuel usage and gas emissions.
Reduced Soil Erosion - GM seeds can be planted
by placing them directly into relatively undisturbed soil. This system,
minimum-till agriculture, conserves moisture and soil fauna and flora,
and reduces water and wind erosion.