Environment

Enviromental Effects

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 include:

  • 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.

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