Azara Blog: GM crops are increasing in the world

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Date published: 2011/02/25

The BBC says:

The area of the world's farmland used for growing genetically modified crops increased by about 10% last year.

GM use grew fastest in Brazil but fell in the EU, says the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

Virtually all GM strains used were engineered for just two traits, disease resistance and herbicide tolerance.
SAAA estimates that more than 15 million farmers are involved in GM agriculture.

"We can recount a momentous year of progress in biotech crop adoption," said Clive James, the organisation's chairman and founder.

"During 2010, the accumulated commercial biotech plantation exceeded one billion hectares - that's an area larger than the US or China.

"And biotech crops registered double-digit growth over 2009, bringing the total global plantings to 148 million hectares. Biotech crops are here to stay."

However, critics point out that this is still just 10% of the world's arable land area as defined by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

About half of the global GM total is accounted for by the US - although overall, the developing world is adopting the technology faster than industrialised countries.

If current trends continue, developing countries will be growing more than half of the global total within a few years.
Greenpeace, meanwhile, has presented a petition bearing more than a million signatures to the European Commission, demanding that the executive stop approving new GM varieties.

The world moves forward. The EU moves backwards.

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