Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States
More than 15 years after their first successful commercial introduction in the United States, genetically engineered (GE) seeds have been widely adopted by U.S. corn, soybean, and cotton farmers. Still, some questions persist regarding the potential benefits and risks of GE crops. The report finds that, although the pace of research and development (measured by the number of USDA-approved field tests) peaked in 2002, other measures show that biotech firms continue to develop new GE seed varieties at a rapid pace. Also, U.S. farmers continue to adopt GE seeds at a robust rate, and seed varieties with multiple (stacked) traits have increased at a very rapid rate. Insecticide use has decreased with the adoption of insect-resistant crops, and herbicide-tolerant crops have enabled the substitution of glyphosate for more toxic and persistent herbicides. However, overreliance on glyphosate and a reduction in the diversity of weed management practices have contributed to the evolution of glyphosate resistance in some weed species.
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