Non-GM success stories

Using GM to raise yield, fight drought, withstand floods, boost nutritional content of crops or tolerate salt in water or soils is the long way around, at best. There’s good reason to think it may never work at all.

Below is a list of non-GM successes proving what can be done to tackle common problems more quickly and with less risk that trying GM. Next time you see a story about a new GM “breakthrough”, why not check here to see if the non-GM breeders got there first?

This is only a selection of non-GM successes, and only dating back to 2007. There are many more examples being developed and used in field by farmers every day.

(NB: The links below take you to the sources of the information, so will open new windows not on the GM Freeze website.)

Non-GM drought tolerant crops

See also drought tolerant varieties under Maize and other headings below.

Kew’s growth strategy: hybrid crops without the genetic modification - July 2013
(Note: Plan to crossbreed crops with their wild cousins to help boost resistance to climate change. The 29 crops covered in the project are: African rice, alfalfa, apple, eggplant (aubergine), bambara groundnut, banana, barley, wheat, lima/butter bean, carrot, chickpea, common bean, cowpea, faba/broad bean), finger millet, grasspea, lentil, oat, pea, pearl millet, pigeon pea, plantain, potato, rice, rye, sorghum, sunflower, sweet potato and vetch.)
ICRISAT Develops Crops Resistant to Drought - 21 May 2011

(Note: 735 highly-nutritious and drought-tolerant crop varieties developed using germplasm and breeding materials in 78 countries including sorghum: 242varieties, pearl millet: 163 varieties, groundnut: 145 varieties, chickpea: 120 varieties, and pigeon pea: 65 varieties.)


Arteminisin (malaria treatment)



Non-GM high yield, high nutrition cassava:

Non-GM high yield drought resistant cassava:

Non-GM virus resistant cassava:

Non-GM root-rot resistant cassava:




Non-GM drought tolerant maize:

Non-GM high yield maize:

Non-GM reduced aflotoxin maize:

Non-GM iron fortified maize:


Non-GM high iron millet:

Omega-3 crops


Peas and beans

Non-GM soy:

  • Genetic Technology’s Answer to A Major Insect Pest - 29 July 2013
    (Note: It’s a huge insect pest problem on soybeans, one of the country’s major crops. A recent paper estimates that it costs growers 2 to 5 billion dollars annually in lost productivity and insecticide use. But fortunately technology has an answer - and it's not GM.)

Non-GM beans:

15 varieties of high altitude high yield beans:

Non-GM aphid resistant cowpea:

for chickpea and pigeon pea see "735 non-GM varieties" above.

Peanut and groundnut

for groundnut see "735 non-GM varieties" above.

Pest control (non-GM) crops



  • Local rice makes the grade in West Africa - 25 March 2013
    (Note: "New research from West Africa challenges the widely held view that African and Asian 'farmer rice' varieties have only local value owing to their poor ability to adapt to adverse environmental conditions...Their findings suggest that farmer rice varieties can grow without fertilisers, require no special maintenance and can develop ways of coping with stress. This makes them highly adaptable to a wide range of environments. An additional benefit of the varieties, say the researchers, is that they produce higher and sometimes superior yields to imported varieties — around 660 kilograms per hectare from upland, lowland and irrigated rice farms.")

Non-GM "perennial" high yield rice:

Non-GM flood-tolerant rice, aka “snorkel” or “scuba” rice:

Non-GM drought tolerant, high yield early maturing rice:

Non-GM leaf blight and leaf blast resistant rices:


  • See "735 non-GM varieties" above.

Sugar beet




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