Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Gene Editing Crops: Pros and Cons

There are few food-related areas of discussion more emotive than that of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Public debate often takes place at the extremes of the argument, where combatants on both sides are accused of playing fast and loose with the future of the planet and strong opinions are held on the morality of use, the independence of any research and the exact nature of any benefits or potential risks.
Wider use of the technology leads to a significant reduction in pesticide use. As the genetic change is designed to make crops more resistant to pests, the reliance on chemicals is reduced. Similarly, increasing yields will reduce land, water and fertiliser use. Less chemical use in production reduces the risk of eutrophication through chemicals leaching from the soil into water courses. As the fertiliser industry relies on fossil fuel, the additional benefit is in the reduction of carbon emissions.
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