Biotech rice cuts pesticide and energy use compared to non-GMO counterpart, LCA study finds
The release of environmental emissions, which partly emanates from the application of chemical inputs, is a major global concern. Planting crops that have been genetically modified (GM) is one possible solution for reducing negative impacts on the environment and human health. The life cycle of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM rice cultivars was assessed for four GM lines and conventional cultivars (non-GM parents) in the north of Iran.
Results show that decreased application of pesticides in GM cultivars led to less energy utilization, emission of greenhouse gases, and global warming potential (GWP). The highest amount of GWP, cumulative non-renewable energy demand, terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, and water depletion were observed in the non-GM cultivars. The heavy metals emitted in air (Pb, Cd, Zn, and Hg) and water (Cr, Zn, Cu, Cd, Hg, Pb, and Ni) were less in GM cultivars than in non-GM cultivars.
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