A new meta-analysis on the farm-level impacts of GMOs

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Maize breeding, credit: KJHvM Despite the fact that the global area of GM crops has grown rapidly over the past decade and now encompasses more than 170 million hectares it is still questioned whether current applications of genetic engineering in agriculture are beneficial to farmers or not. While several reviews and meta-analyses on the impact of GM crops exist, the evidence is still not regarded as conclusive by many. A new meta-analysis of the agronomic and economic impacts of GMOs has appeared in the journal PLOS ONE. It summarizes the findings of 147 original studies published until March 2014. Besides

Q&A about Plenish® soybeans

Susan Knowlton, image provided by DuPont Pioneer.

In the post What do you want to know about Plenish® Soybeans? we invited you to ask questions of Susan Knowlton, a Senior Research Manager with DuPont and the lead of the DuPont Healthy Oils team (see her bio below). Dr. Knowles has provided detailed responses to some of your questions.

What do you want to know about Plenish® Soybeans?

Soybeans, oil, and meal. Image from the  United Soybean Board via Flickr.

Soybeans, oil, and meal. Image from the United Soybean Board via Flickr. Soybeans are the source of the 61% of the vegetable oil consumed in the US. (SoyConnection) That makes sense, because the oil is in some ways a byproduct of animal feed: “a 60-pound bushel will yield about 11 pounds of crude soybean oil and 47 pounds of soybean meal.” (NC Soybean Producers) Still, soybean oil has some benefits of its own that justify its prevalence. Soybean oil is “low in saturated fat, contains no trans fat, and is high in poly- and monounsaturated fats. It’s also the principal source of

The Cost Of Precaution

The graph above shows the relative production of these major US row crops comparing the years 1993-1995 (just prior to the introduction of biotechnology enhanced crops) and 2008-10 (the most recent available data which covers a a span which comes 12-15 years after biotech.  Soybean production has expanded 47% in this time-frame while corn is up 58% (far more than the quantity now being diverted for biofuel).  Both of those crops are predominantly planted to “GMO” varieties, while the various segments of the wheat crop remain non-GMO.  Until 2004 it looked as if North American growers would also get