NYT article on GMOs draws criticism
A New York Times article that claims genetically modified crops have not brought any benefits to U.S. farmers has raised the ire of some in the ag industry.
Hopkinsville, Kentucky farmer Joseph Sisk took to Facebook to express his feelings. Sisk, who serves on the boards of the Kentucky Corn Growers and Kentucky Corn Council, tells Brownfield he was upset by the insinuation that seed and chemical companies have forced farmers to adopt genetically modified crops.
“The argument that we’re being forced into it—that there are no choices—I think that’s real condescending to the U.S. farmer,” Sisk says. “When someone makes a statement like that it’s almost like the poor farmer doesn’t know any better. But when it comes to the environment, especially the environment on a farm, nobody knows it any better than the U.S. farmer. So that argument has zero validity with me—and I think it does with most farmers.”
The Times’ article also stated that GMO crops have not led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. But Sisk says the products he uses now are much less toxic than those used prior to biotech crops.
“We were fighting these bugs–bugs we now fight through technology—we were fighting them with insecticides,” Sisk says, “and thankfully we’re not having to do that as much anymore because of genetically modified crops.”
Sisk says the article’s conclusion that non-GMO crop yields produced by European farmers are equal to those in the U.S. is “absurd”. He says farmers he met during a trip to southern France in 2015 “want technology badly”.
“I have no reason to be a GMO lover,” Sisk wrote in his Facebook post. “My only reason for defending our practices is that we are doing it more safely and with less input per pound of food than ever before in history–and we have less carbon footprint than ever before.”
Sisk calls the New York Times’ article “junk journalism”.
The American Soybean Association has also criticized the article, saying it contains several “inaccuracies and false conclusions”. Monsanto accused the reporter of “cherry-picking” data for the article.
AUDIO: Joseph Sisk