Wyden, Merkley Call on Government Accountability Office to Study Impacts of Genetically Modified Foods on Hunger, Pesticide Use
Following New York Times Investigation into GMO Foods, Senators Ask if They are Adequately Addressing Food Needs
Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley in a letter today called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study whether genetically modified foods are reducing hunger and the use of pesticides in the United States and worldwide.
The senators asked the GAO to study the use of genetically modified (GMO) crops in the United States after a New York Times investigation raised questions about whether the use of GMO crops increased overall crop yields and decreased the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, as advocates claimed they would.
“We are concerned about the findings of the NYT analysis, and ask that the GAO conduct its own study into the use of genetically modified crops in the United States, specifically whether the use of genetically modified crops has increased overall crop yields and whether the use of genetically modified crops has impacted the overall use of chemical pesticides and herbicides,” the senators wrote in the letter.
The article references reports that found little evidence that GMO crops have increased yields any more than non-GMO crops. It also states that while the use of pesticides – the chemicals used to get rid of insects – in the U.S. has fallen, the use of herbicides – the chemicals used to get rid of weeds - has gone up.
The senators also wrote, “The goal to feed more of the world’s hungry is a necessary and laudable goal. One that we have actively supported for our entire careers. But if that goal is not actually being met, and if we are putting ourselves and the environment at greater risk by using GMOs, then we should take a closer look at the appropriate use of GMO technology.”
A signed copy of today's letter is attached and available here.
Read the New York Times story here.
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