Biotech Popularity Growing

Growers around the world — including the U.S. — continue to enthusiastically embrace genetically modified (GEM crops according to a report released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).

The ISAAA report, “The Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2008,” says a record 13.3 million growers in 25 countries are using agricultural biotechnology today. Of these, 90 percent (12.3 million) are resource-poor growers in 15 developing countries.

The report states that more than 154 million acres of biotech crops were planted in 2008 in the U.S., up from 143 million acres in 2007. The primary biotech crops planted by U.S. growers are corn, cotton, canola, and soybeans, plus squash, papaya, alfalfa, and sugarbeet.

“At a time when the United States and the world are looking for science-based solutions to help feed a growing population, agricultural biotechnology is able to deliver heartier crops that produce more food, often in areas with less-than-perfect growing conditions,” the report states.

“The trends we see today will likely continue,”.says Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president, Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). “The next generation of biotech crops with resistance to additional diseases and increased tolerance for environmental stresses like drought and flooding will boost productivity even more. And we’ll see increased demand for biotech foods that have been nutritionally enhanced or engineered to help combat human disease.

“The findings of this report prove that the United States and countries around the world are turning to science and technology to meet today’s challenges in agriculture, food, and energy production,” Lauritsen adds. “The biotechnology industry is committed to providing solutions to enlist in that effort.”

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) report, “Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2008” and accompanying materials are posted at www.isaaa.org.

(Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization)

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