GMO farming less profitable than conventional and traditional farming

Photo credit: Lindsay Eyink Photo credit: Lindsay Eyink

A new study published in Ecological Indicators evaluated the costs, benefits, environmental performance and sustainability of different agricultural methods used in Argentina to produce maize over the last 25 years. The study assessed three different farming systems: traditional, conventional, and genetically modified organism (GMO) based farming within Argentina and compared those results to Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and the United States. Researchers found that GMO-based maize production did not improve sustainability or crop yield compared to conventional high cropping systems or low intensity systems. When production costs were taken into account, GMO-based systems were not as profitable as previously thought. GMO-based farming systems were also found to be less sustainable because they rely heavily on non-renewable resources, contributing negatively to the environment over time. A combination of traditional and conventional farming techniques would yield the same if not better results that GMO farming, and have fewer negative environmental impacts.