Ecological Consequences

Biodiversity Loss
One of the most precious resources we have is the variety of seeds, each differing in their ability to deal with various preconditions. Furthermore, a diverse seed pool is the precondition for the ongoing natural development and adaptation of plants. The application of GMO in the form of monocultures directly undermines this resource. The application of pesticides contributes to this loss of diversity.
 
Pesticide resistance
Countries where GMO are used experience major problems from herbicide resistant weeds. This is a great threat for farmers and agriculture as a whole, since the most effective means to fight pests are lost.

  • “It is well known that glyphosate-resistant horseweed (also known as marestail) populations have been selected in Roundup Ready soybean and cotton cropping systems. Resistance was first reported in Delaware in 2000, a mere 5 years after the introduction of Roundup Ready soybean. Since that initial report, glyphosate-resistant horseweed is now reported in 12 states and is estimated to affect 1.5 million acres in Tennessee alone.” (Hartzler et al, February 20 2004)

  • “In Argentina, overall glyphosate use has more than tripled from 65.5 million litres in 1999/2000 to over 200 million litres in 2005/6.17 In 2007, agricultural experts reported that a glyphosate-resistant version of Johnson grass (Sorghum halapense) was infesting over 120,000 ha of the country’s prime cropland. Johnsongrass, an extremely damaging perennial, is a monocot weed that is considered one of the worst weeds in the world, and resistance to glyphosate will make it all the more harder to control.” (FOEI 2009)

    Stronger Toxins
    The sole response of the GM companies to the resistance of weeds to herbicides and pesticides has been the usage of even stronger toxins.

  • “In a recent issue of Science, the company reported that it is developing a new generation of crops resistant to the herbicide dicamba (Behrens et al, 2007). Dicamba belongs to the same class of phenoxy herbicides as 2,4-D, a component of the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange, and is known to have genotoxic and cytoxic effects.“ (Gonzalez et al, 2007 in FOEI 2009)