Crop Biotech Update

EU Ban on GM Crops Hurting Productivity, says Retired Professor

November 29, 2017

A ban on genetically modified (GM) crops in the European Union hurts productivity, according to retired Montana State University Economics Professor Gary Brester. At the Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Billings, Professor Brester explained that claims that European yields without GM crops match those in the U.S., the debate is not taking into account enough years of data.

"When I heard this debate, I went back to the early 1960s and started tracking productivity. Until 1996, the United State and the European Union shared technologies. Then when GMOs were banned, I've noticed in my data a flattening of yields in corn and soybeans in the EU, yet the U.S. yields using GMOs continue to increase."

The professor also said that banning GM crops increases world hunger. "The banning of this technology has been done with no documented human health problems despite extensive testing," Brester said. He explained that agriculture has advanced because of technology, and that farm productivity has increased by 250 percent since the 1940s owing to continued adopted technologies.

For more information, read the Montana Farm Bureau Federation news article.