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Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.

Report: GMO Crops Neither A Panacea Nor A Scourge

Michelle Cesare
flickr Creative Commons

Genetically engineered crops are safe to eat, but they don’t deliver on all their promises: That’s according to a new analysis from a national scientific panel.

A National Academy of Sciences committee spent two years digging into the data on GMO crops. What they ended up with is a mixed bag. The GMO foods on the market are safe to eat, and they’ve reduced the use of certain pesticides, the panel says. But the varieties on the market haven’t delivered on their claims of dramatically increasing the yields farmers pull out of the field.

North Carolina State University entomologist Fred Gould says he wants the report to break through the vitriol in the debate over GMOs.

“There are a lot of talking points that go around, all the way around from both sides, and we’re pretty tired of that. And we want to see a real conversation,” he says.

The majority of corn, soybean and cotton crops in the U.S. are genetically engineered.

As KUNC’s reporter covering the Colorado River Basin, I dig into stories that show how water issues can both unite and divide communities throughout the Western U.S. I produce feature stories for KUNC and a network of public media stations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada.