Researchers studied two decades of GMO corn data
By Diego Flammini
Genetically modified corn helps farmers achieve bigger yields and provides human health benefits, according to a new study.
Since GMOs became a mainstay on many farms, GMO corn varieties have increased yields between 5.6 and 24.5 percent between 1996 and 2016, according to Italian researchers.
The researchers analyzed more than 6,000 peer-reviewed studies, which covered 21 years of data from such locations as the United States, Canada, as well as parts of Europe.
GMO corn contains lower amounts of toxins that can damage human health, they found.
“The results clearly indicate that GE maize grain contains lower amounts of mycotoxins (29 percent), fumoninsin (31 percent) and (trichothecenes) (37 percent) than its non-GE counterpart,” according to the study.
The analysis should help move along the conversation that GMOs do not pose a threat to human health, according to one of the researchers.
“This analysis provides an effective synthesis on a specific problem that is widely discusses publicly,” coauthor Laura Ercoli told the Italian newspaper la Republlica on Thursday.
GMOs are also helping to reduce the amount of active ingredients in crop protection products.
Some authors have estimated that, between 1996 and 2011, the use of GMO corn has “caused a reduction in the volume of the active ingredient of herbicides and insecticides of 10.1 percent and 45.2 percent respectively,” according to the Italian researchers.
The findings were published in Impact of genetically engineered maize on agronomic, environmental and toxicological traits: a meta-analysis of 21 years of field data.