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Myth

So many resources are being devoted to GM crop research. These resources should instead be directed to organic farming or other ecological practices, because these practices and crops are proven safe.

Fact

There is no scientific data that proves organic farming to be safer than any other kind of farming. Nor is there data that proves farming GM crops to be unsafe. Farming biotechnology crops actually requires fewer resources than conventional farming.

Myth

The genetic engineering of crops is not natural. That type of genetic modification probably does not happen naturally.

Fact

Genetic modification happens naturally. Farmers have been crossbreeding plants for centuries, depending on trial-and-error to get the desired results. Biotechnology is a safer, more deliberate way of achieving—and replicating—the desired results.

Myth

Field trials of biotech crops are dangerous. There is a high risk of contaminating other, non-biotech crops in nearby fields.

Fact

Field trials are conducted under very strict conditions and follow stringent regulations. These conditions include the prevention of pollen flow and the prevention of entry into food and feed pathways. The failure to comply with any single condition or regulation means the trial will be stopped.

Myth

Field trials of biotech crops are made to appear successful but the results are falsified. Field trials have successful results due to the use of additional fertilizer and less pesticide.

Fact

Field trials are conducted to compare GM crops with non-GM counterparts, and provided similar agricultural management except for the one related to the transgenic trait. All data from biotechnology crop research—from the research proposal to the field trials—are reviewed, vetted and signed by panels of technical experts, quarantine officers, project personnel and Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBC). If any stage of the experiment appears dubious in any way, the experiment is stopped.

Myth

Planting biotech crops harms the environment. We don’t know what effects these crops will have on the environment in ten or twenty years.

Fact

Current farming practices, including the use of pesticides and herbicides, are very harmful to the environment, and to human health—of farmers and consumers—as well. Biotech crops that are designed to be pestresistant will significantly reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides, thus reducing the risk to the environment and to human health.

Myth

Seed companies control the sale and use of biotech seeds. They force farmers to buy expensive seeds, and sue farmers who plant biotech crops without their permission. Biotech crops just make poor farmers poorer and the seed companies richer.

Fact

More than 90% or over 18 million farmers that grew biotech crops in 2014 are small, resource-poor farmers in developing countries. The unprecedented increase in number of farmers planting biotech crops shows that biotech crops deliver substantial, sustainable, socio-economic and environmental benefits. In all cases farmers are given the freedom to choose which types of seeds they wish to plant.

Myth

Biotech crops are responsible for the evolution of “super bugs” and “killer weeds.” Pests and weeds evolve or adapt to overcome the crop’s genetic modification.

Fact

Excessive and irresponsible use of existing pesticides and herbicides are responsible for the evolution of “super bugs” and “killer weeds.” Adaption of pests and diseases to resistance genes occur in both conventionally-bred and GM lines, but with compliance to resistance management, this phenomenon can be minimized.

Myth

Foods made with biotech crops are not safe for human consumption. They cause allergies, cancer, homosexuality and birth defects, as well as many other negative side effects.

Fact

Foods made with biotech crops have been in the market for years, and are as safe or unsafe as traditional crops. Rigorous testing is done on all biotech crops before they are even commercialized. If they have been approved for commercialization then they have been proven safe to eat.

Myth

Biotech crops are not safe for animal consumption either. Farm animals that eat biotech crops get sick and even die. Animals in lab tests were shown to have died from eating biotech foods.

Fact

Biotech crops have been used for feeds for more than 18 years and there is no record of sickness or fatality.

Myth

Nutritionally-enhanced biotech rice and other crops is not the best way to solve the nutrient deficiency problem. Other, more effective solutions are already in place. Micronutrient deficiency is not even a big public health issue anymore.

Fact

Nutritionally-enhanced biotech crops are being promoted as a supplementary solution to nutrient deficiency, to be used in conjunction with other methods that are already in place. Global micronutrient deficiency is a health and nutrition issue which result to susceptibility to infectious diseases, mental retardation and child mortality.