Oct. 19, 2022
This paper assesses the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use with GM crops at a global level.
The main technologies impacting on pesticide use have been crops modified to be tolerant to specific herbicides so as to facilitate improved weed control and crops resistant to a range of crop insect pests that otherwise damage crops or typically require the application of insecticides to control them.
Over the 24 year period examined to 2020, the widespread use of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant seed technology has reduced pesticide application by 748.6 million kg (−7.2%) of active ingredient and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with insecticide and herbicide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator, the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)) by a larger 17.3% between 1996 and 2020.
The technology that has delivered the largest change in pesticide use has been insect resistant cotton, where a 339 million kg of active ingredient saving has occurred and the associated environmental impact (as measured by the EIQ indicator) has fallen by about a third.
Read more at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21645698.2022.2118497
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