1.Farm group raises doubts over GM crops
2.GM crops perform worse - Mark Griffiths' commentary

1.Farm group raises doubts over GM crops
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, July 11, 2005.

A group opposed to the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops says there is growing evidence that GM crops are unsuitable for Australian conditions.

Julie Newman from the Network of Concerned Farmers says experience around the world shows GM crops need more water and do not perform well in drier conditions.

Mrs Newman says in dry conditions, yields from GM crops have been up to 25 per cent less than conventional crops.

"There's been significant failures for GM cotton in India, South Africa, Indonesia, soy in the United States and Brazil and there's also some farmers complaining about GM canola in Canada - when it was a little drier it performed far worse," she said.

2. GM crops perform worse - commentary from Mark Griffiths of nlpwessex

Concern is growing about the performance of a number of GM crops in drought conditions, particularly with the onset of global warming.

The item below is from a group of farmers in Australia, a country which is itself currently suffering from severe drought conditions: Farmers ask why GM crops perform worse in drought

Several years ago New Scientist reported on research in the USA which confirmed that GM soya is much more prone to yield losses in drought conditions compared to conventional varieties, due the splitting of the stems in conditions of excessive heat. This latter effect is an unintended effect of the genetic modification in question producing an excess of lignin in the plant stems and making them more brittle ( ).

Moreover, the effect is sufficient that it reduces the yield potential of the crop even in non-drought conditions. Lower yields from GM varieties were confirmed in a detailed study by the University of Nebraska published in 'Agronomy Journal' in April 2001( ).

These studies are rarely talked about by the biotech industry, or by governments and scientific institutions endeavouring to promote the technology. They are too embarrassing. Science will be kept from farmers and the general public if it doesn't produce the 'desired results'.

Crucially these farmers in Australia have spotted another key factor in all of this: "......there are far better alternatives in non-GM biotechnology but some scientists are more interested in attracting corporate investment so are misleading farmers to believe all biotechnology is GM."

For more on the most effective (including the development of drought tolerance in plant varieties) and publicly acceptable forms of biotechnology see: "The Acceptable Face Of Ag-biotech"

Despite this, GM crops are promoted because of the intellectual property rights that attach to them, not because it is the best technology. Because it isn't.

It is, however, the technology supported by the 'best' and most lavishly funded propaganda (typically GM crops don't even reduce pesticide use, the main claim made for them; rather the opposite - see

Quietly, not even the US Department of Agriculture believes many of the claims made for GM crops - see