Charles Benbrook is a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, and program leader of Measure to Manage: Farm and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health. His career has focused on developing science-based systems for evaluating the public health, environmental, and economic impacts of changes in agricultural systems, technology, and policy. He spent the first 18 years of his career working in Washington, D.C., first for the Executive Office of the President, then as the staff director for a U.S. House of Representatives agricultural subcommittee. He was the ED of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture, and has run a small consulting firm since 1991. He moved to the west in 1997, and served as the chief scientist for The Organic Center from 2004-2012. Benbrook has served as an appointed member on the USDAs AC 21 agricultural biotechnology advisory committee since 2011. His 2012 peer-reviewed study documenting the big increase in herbicide use triggered by the planting of genetically engineered crops in the U.S. has been downloaded over 110,000 times.
Charles Benbrook has also participated in:
Organic Food Is Marketing Hype - Against
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Contrary to often-repeated claims that todays genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied.
More independent testing of GE crop safety is needed to (a) resolve lingering uncertainty over the safety of the GE traits currently on the market, and (b) develop advanced testing methods and protocols for application in the testing of future GE food traits.
Ronald and Benbrook debate the proposition, This house believes that biotechnology and sustainable agriculture are complementary, not contradictory.
With genetically engineered crops, the relatively modest decrease in insecticides is more than made up by the huge increase in herbicides.