Genetically modified organisms - the farmer's side of the field

Bob Watters, RMB 4468, Numurkah, Victoria 3636, Australia.


Developments in crop technology open many doors for farmers, and with those benefits however, come risks. At a time when many farmers are battling to survive, the arrival of this technology is both a windfall and a curse. The information with which farmers are being bombarded is not giving many of them a good idea about the actual benefits or costs of growing genetically modified organism (GMO) crops. One minute they are hearing of the production advantages and the next of unsaleable crops. They are very aware that farmers in the United States are in some cases saving hundreds of dollars on herbicides and pesticides, they are also aware of the problems some farmers are having selling their GMO produce. There is a need for more 'real' information, the promised advantages through extra weed management tools and higher productivity must be acknowledged, alongside the questionable economic benefits of the crops if the companies that own them enforce high technology fees and consumers continue in their refusal to buy food produced from them.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2000) 15 (2) 69-71.