In 2012, Professsor Seralini of the University of Caen in France led a team that carried out research into the health impacts on rats fed GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The two-year long study concluded that rats fed GMOs experienced serious health problems compared to those fed non GM food. Not long after, a new major peer-reviewed study emerged that threw into question the claim often forwarded by the biotech sector that GMO technology increases production and is beneficial to agriculture.
Researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand found that the GM strategy used in North American staple crop production is limiting yields and increasing pesticide use compared to non-GM farming in Western Europe. Led by Professor Jack Heinemann, the study’s findings were published in the June 2013 edition of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. The research analysed data on agricultural productivity in North America and Western Europe over the last 50 years.
Heinemann’s team found that the combination of non-GM seed and management practices used by Western Europe is increasing corn yields faster than the use of the GM-led package chosen by the US. The research showed rapeseed (canola) yields increasing faster in Europe without GM than in the GM-led package chosen by Canada. What is more, the study found that Europe is decreasing chemical herbicide and achieving even larger declines in insecticide use without sacrificing yield gains, while chemical herbicide use in the US has increased with GM seed.