Despite the usual hyperbole about the promise of GM disease resistant crops, hardly any have been commercialised anywhere in the world and some of the biggest claims to success have been exposed as false. Non-GM plant breeding, on the other hand, has achieved success after success. Here are some of the non-GM successes.
US scientists breed non-GM scab-resistant apple (January 2009)
Field trials find organic bean varieties sustainable, high-yielding and disease-resistant (April 2020)
Plant breeders at the University of California, Davis, are releasing six new varieties of organic beans. Field trials found that the new varieties produced high yields, and were resistant to bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), a disease that prevents bean plants from maturing promptly and uniformly.
Heat, drought and disease tolerant non-GM beans released (June 2010)
And they yield and adapt well too!
High yielding, multi-disease resistant, non-GM bean success in Rwanda (February 2010)
An excellent example of the success of traditional plant breeding practices - multi-disease resistant, very high yielding, no mention of GM and apparently freely distributed without IP ties. What would the GM lobby give for one good success story like this?
Virus-resistant non-GM snap beans in pipeline (August 2009)
Non-GM method to produce virus-resistant brassica crops (November 2007)
Non-GM success in combating cassava mosaic virus in Africa (October 2007)
Cassava disease control underway (July 2016)
High-yielding disease-resistant non-GM super-cassava for Africa (September 2010)
Cameroon hopes non-GM Brazilian fungus-resistant cocoa variety will boost output (September 2010)
Cameroon plans to use a fungus-resistant, high-yielding new cocoa variety developed in Brazil. While this Reuters article claims the variety is GM, it actually is not.
Cowpeas bred for extra-early maturity, high protein and high yield potential with resistance to major diseases and aphids, as well as high levels of tolerance to heat and drought, for tropical and subtropical countries (April 2013)
IITA releases non-GM high-yielding striga-resistant cowpeas in sub-Saharan Africa (March 2009)
Resource-poor cowpea farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have seen their profits jump by 55 per cent thanks to improved cowpea varieties.
Corn lines resist fungal toxins (Sept 2010)
Corn germplasm lines developed by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are scoring high marks in field trials for resistance to aflatoxin produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus fungi.
Drought-tolerant and striga-resistant non-GM maize released in Ghana (April 2010)
Ghana has released four Quality Protein Maize varieties tolerant of drought and resistant to striga hermontica - a parasitic weed that reduces maize yield - to farmers to boost maize production in drought-prone areas of the country.
Researchers develop non-GM papaya resistant to ringspot virus (September 2011)
Despite claims that only GM could deliver this, researchers have developed a papaya resistant to ringspot virus through conventional breeding. The researchers comment, "Application of these results should lead to restoration of the papaya industry in virus-infested regions of the Philippines and worldwide." GM proponents have repeatedly promoted GM ringspot virus-resistant papayas as the only solution to the problem.
New disease-resistant pea lines developed (November 2013)
Non-GM blight-resistant potatoes performing well (April 2016)
Blight-resistant potato trial a resounding success (video) (2014)
Brazil to debut non-GM rust-resistant soy (May 2009)
Non-GMO taro resistant to leaf blight ready to go - but being ignored! (October 2010)
New tomato bred to naturally resist pests and curb disease (January 2023)
A Cornell researcher has completed a decades-long program to develop new varieties of tomato that naturally resist pests and limit transfer of viral disease by insects.
A Nepali farm specializing in producing organic vegetables has developed nine varieties of tomatoes it says are high-yielding as well as tolerant to disease and heat. The tomatoes, named Srijana ("creation"), will be available in the markets of Kathmandu within a year.
Dutch researcher bred non-GM fungi-resistant tomato (March 2007)
New club wheat holds its own against fungal disease (February 2013)
Marker assisted selection used to develop non-GM wheat streak mosaic virus-resistant wheat (August 2010)
See: Lu, Huangjun, Jacob Price, J. Rudd, R. Devkota and C. Rush. A dominant gene for resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus in winter wheat line CO960293-2. Crop Sci. (submitted)
Mexican scientists create non-GM disease-resistant wheat (July 2010)
Mexican scientists have developed a new variety of wheat that they say is more resistant to disease, an achievement that will reduce the use of fungicides and increase production of the grain.