WASHINGTON, June 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On World Environment Day, the United Nations' annual event to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection, GMO Answers launched the first of a series of informational infographics to educate consumers on how GMOs can help to protect the environment. GMOs and biotechnology have become key assets in improving environmental sustainability in agriculture by allowing farmers to produce more crops, using less resources. This can decrease agriculture's impact on habitat destruction, while also conserving soil, water and energy.
"We recognize the importance of finding solutions to the negative effects of climate change and finite natural resources," said Kate Hall, managing director of the Council for Biotechnology Information and GMO Answers spokesperson. "Our goal is to continue to raise awareness about how GMOs are one solution that allows us to take care of our land and do more with fewer resources."
The first informational infographic is focused on the role of GMOs in maximizing current land use. An estimated 20 percent population increase by 20501, means a higher demand for food, fuel and fiber, yet the amount of arable land is fixed. This provides farmers with two choices—convert more land like forests and prairies into agricultural production or increase crop yields on existing farmland, through advances in agriculture technologies like GMOs.
Crop protection products and biotech crops can help farmers to produce more food on existing farmland and protect the natural complex ecosystems that support bees, butterflies and other wildlife:
- In 2014, without GMOs, farmers would have needed 51 million more acres of land to produce the same amount of crops. That's equivalent to all the farmland in Iowa and Missouri.2
- In 2014, if GM crops were not made available to farmers, an additional 22 million acres of corn, 19 million acres of soybeans, 9 million acres of cotton, 1.5 million acres of canola would have needed to be planted in order to keep up with global production levels.3
- Between 1996 and 2014, crop biotechnology was responsible for additional global production of 175 million tons of soybeans and 354 million tons of corn.4
Check back on GMOAnswers.com for more information on sustainability and for answers to any questions on GMOs.
About GMO Answers
GMO Answers is committed to responding to your questions about how our food is grown. Our goal is to make information about agricultural biotechnology easier to access and evaluate. The members of GMO Answers commit to five core principles —welcoming and answering questions on all GMO topics; making GMO information, research and data easy to access and evaluate, and supporting safety testing of GM products, including allowing independent safety testing of our products through validated science-based methods; supporting farmers as they work to grow crops using precious resources more efficiently, with less impact on the environment and producing safe, nutritious food and feed products; respecting farmers' rights to choose the seeds that are best for their farms, businesses and communities and providing seed choices that include non-GM seeds based on market demands; and respecting people around the world and their right to choose healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families. GMO Answers is produced by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta. Our members are dedicated to the responsible development and application of plant biotechnology. Visit www.GMOAnswers.com.
1 World population projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 (2015). Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/2015-report.html.
2 Brookes, G. and Barfoot, P. (2016). GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2014. Retrieved from http://www.pgeconomics.co.uk.
3 Brookes, G. and Barfoot, P. (2016). GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2014. Retrieved from http://www.pgeconomics.co.uk.
4 Brookes, G. and Barfoot, P. (2016). GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2014. Retrieved from http://www.pgeconomics.co.uk.
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SOURCE GMO Answers