While touted as offering higher yields and more pest resistance, genetically modified seeds have been at the center of controversy and debate over the potential environmental and human health risks. And now, research finds they may not have a yield advantage over non-GMO seeds after all.
According to research conducted at the University of Illinois [PDF] using Spectrum non-GMO hybrid seeds, results showed the non-GMO corn hybrids produced 3 to 10 more bushels per acre “when compared to nationally known GMO corn hybrids,” reports Digital Journal. “In addition to competitive yield performance, our aim is to exceed seed purity demands from grain producers as well as grain users across the country who are trying to reach a fast growing consumer market for food products derived from Non-GMO sources,” says company Sales Manager Roger Rudolph.
On the company’s website, Spectrum claims that “Non-GMOs are virtually the same in overall performance when compared to GMOs, and the input costs are decreased by the reduced cost of the seed,” according to Ed Baumgartner, technology manager based in San Isabel, Puerto Rico. “Producers aren’t necessarily raising Non-GMOs because of a premium, but because of a more profitable and sustainable experience.”
Genetically modified foods are strictly regulated or banned in more than 60 countries, but in the U.S. there are no labeling laws giving consumers the rights to choose whether or not they purchase foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
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