Study Finds Ag Biotechnology Increases Crop Yields, Reduces Inputs

  • Contact: Libby Mikesell, BIO or Leonard Gianessi, NCFAP
  • Phone: 202-962-9200 or 202-328-5036
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March 15, 1999 (Washington, D.C.) - The first-ever analysis of biotechnology's impact on crop protection and benefits to the environment finds significant increases in crop yield, reductions in farming inputs such as pesticides, and a shift to farming practices promoting integrated pest management and conservation tillage, according to a study to be released tomorrow by the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy (NCFAP).

Leonard Gianessi, Senior Research Associate, NCFAP, presents his analysis of agricultural biotechnology's impact on crop protection and benefits to the environment in a presentation at the Public Voice for Food & Health Policy, national policy conference March 16 at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

"The rate at which U.S. growers have embraced biotechnology has demonstrated their confidence in its ability to deliver benefits. Now we have evidence that growers' confidence was justified," said BIO President Carl Feldbaum. "Biotechnology is providing solutions to control damaging insect pests where none existed before for corn growers. For soybean and cotton farmers, biotechnology provides more strategic choices for crop protection with herbicide tolerant varieties. As a result, growers deploy more effective weed controls and shift to conservation tillage farming that reduces topsoil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions and damaging runoff to vulnerable watersheds," Feldbaum said.

"For growers, biotechnology products translate into reduced cost for inputs, increased yields per acre - a combination that equals greater productivity. For the rest of us in the non-farming public who enjoy the foods farmers produce, we can take satisfaction that biotechnology is advancing the trend toward more sustainable farming practices," Feldbaum said.

Leonard Gianessi presents his report, "The Impact of Biotechnology on U.S. Crop Protection," 11:00 a.m. March 16, 1999 at the national policy conference of Public Voice for Food & Health Policy. The study by NCFAP is sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

WHO:

Leonard Gianessi, Senior Research Associate National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy

WHAT:

"Impact of Biotechnology on U.S. Crop Protection"

WHEN:

11:00 a.m., Tuesday March 16, 1999

WHERE:

National Policy Conference, Public Voice for Food & Health Policy, National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.