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GM crops linked with higher US pesticide use

The cultivation of genetically modified crops in the US increased pesticide use by some 183,000 tonnes between 1996 and 2011, according to a study by Professor Charles Benbrook of Washington State University. That represents an estimated rise of about 7%. While the cultivation of insect-resistant Bt crops reduced insecticide applications by some 56,000 tonnes, there was an increase in herbicide use of some 239,000 tonnes. Soybeans accounted for 70% of the increase due to rising reliance on the herbicide, glyphosate, the study notes.


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