Genetically-modified (GM) herbicide resistant crops have been grown commercially since 1995, mostly in North and South America. These crops are designed to tolerate specific broad-spectrum herbicides, which kill the surrounding flora, but leave the cultivated crop intact. Cultivating herbicide resistant crops promotes, and significantly increases, herbicide use, forcing farmers onto a chemical treadmill – with ever increasing quantities of herbicides necessary to maintain their crops.
Over time, flora surrounding cultivated GM crops develop resistances to herbicides, which leads to the application of even more herbicides, such as glyphosate and glufosinate, and, increasingly, other more toxic herbicides.
This model of farming is unsustainable and devastating for the environment and farmers. Profits from the sale of herbicide resistant crops benefit large chemical-manufacturers and agribusinesses, at the expense of farmers, who suffer greater cultivation costs and more dangerous working environments. This model significantly increases pollution and health risks for consumers, and contributes to the loss of biodiversity.
There are currently no herbicide resistant crops authorised for cultivation in Europe, but several are under consideration. Europe must not repeat the mistakes made in the Americas.
Friends of the Earth Europe demands that herbicide resistant crops must not be authorised for cultivation in the European Union.