Iowa State University Study Says Anti-GMO Sentiment Has Repercussions for Developing World
A study conducted at the Iowa State University analyzed dozens of previous
scientific studies on the safety of Bt corn and provides an overview of the
risk assessment process applied to genetically modified (GM) crops.
Walter Suza, an adjunct assistant professor of agronomy at Iowa State and a
co-author of the study, said that Bt corn could help farmers in Africa to
combat an emerging pest capable of devastating their crops, but fear of GM
crops has slowed adoption of the technology in the continent. He cites the
problem of fall armyworm, an emerging pest spreading rapidly though Africa.
He said Bt corn could help fight the pest immediately, while developing
resistance through traditional plant breeding will take years. The review
found that delaying the adoption of GM crops such as Bt corn in the
developing world presents risks to both humans and the environment.
The paper published in the journal Global Food Security upholds the
conclusion that GM crops are safe for humans and the environment, and that
risks associated with GM crops have proven to be low to non-existent. It
concludes that GM technologies can be used to develop stress-tolerant and
more nutritious crop varieties, and to protect natural resources and human
health. It also states that while each new GM product is evaluated on a
case-by-case basis, approved commercial products, such as those containing
Bt genes, have been subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny. GM traits,
including but not limited to plant-incorporated Bt protection, should be
considered as a tool for improving crop yields, food safety, and income for