Monsanto was slammed by a recent report issued by The Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) over one of their hybrid corn products. The report states that Monsanto’s hyped GMO (genetically modified organism) drought tolerant corn is just that –hype. The U.S. federally approved Monsanto GMO corn has no improved water efficiency, and provides modest results in only moderate drought conditions. UCS used data generated by Monsanto, the developer of biotech “DroughtGard” corn approved by regulators in December and an analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It said Monsanto’s corn “does not appear to be superior to several recent classically bred varieties of drought-tolerant corn.” Conventional breeding techniques and improved farming practices have helped boost drought tolerance of corn planted in the United States by about 1 percent per year over the past several decades. The group calculated this was roughly equal to or better than what the new GMO corn has demonstrated. Monsanto said its new drought-tolerant corn “can help farmers mitigate the risk of yield loss when experiencing drought stress, primarily in areas of annual drought stress, which in the U.S. historically has been the Western Great Plains region.” Drought is a significant problem for agriculture in the United States and globally. Last year, extreme drought in Texas and throughout the U.S. South wiped out crops and left livestock without pasture or hay, with damages to the agriculture industry calculated at more than $5 billion. Monsanto, DuPont, and other biotech companies have touted crops that perform better in drought as a means to help farmers combat water shortages. The UCS report said that classical and other forms of breeding are more cost efficient and effective than genetic engineering.