Global impact of biotech crops: Environmental effects, 1996–2010
Volume 3, Issue 2
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Pages 129 - 137http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/gmcr.20061
: GMO, active ingredient, biotech crops, carbon sequestration, environmental impact quotient, no tillage, pesticide
Authors: Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot View affiliations
This paper updates the assessment of the impact commercialized agricultural biotechnology is having on global agriculture, from some important environmental perspectives. It focuses on the impact of changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of biotech crops. The technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 443 million kg (-9.1%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops [as measured by the indicator the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)] by 17.9%. The technology has also significantly reduced the release of greenhouse gas emissions from this cropping area, which, in 2010, was equivalent to removing 8.6 million cars from the roads.
Received: January 9, 2012; Accepted: March 19, 2012