Global Biotech Use Growing

Biotech crop plantings continue to expand across the globe, and developing countries are beginning to lead the charge.

And here’s a little trivia: Do you know which two countries had biotech crops planted for the first time in 2007?

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) has released its annual report on global biotech crop acreage, concluding that in 2007, 12 million farmers grew 282 million acres of biotech crops in 23 countries. Biotech crop acreage increased by 12 percent over 2006. Most notably, 11 million farmers growing biotech crops are resource-poor farmers in 12 developing countries.

While the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, and China continue to be the principal adopters of biotech crops globally, ISAAA predicts that other countries are likely to soon approve biotech crops. Highlights of the report include:

  • India experienced the highest proportional increase in 2007, with a 63 percent increase in biotech crop acres to a total of 15.3 million acres of biotech cotton grown by 3.8 million farmers.
  • In China, biotech cotton accounted for 69 percent of all cotton grown in 2007; 7.1 million farmers grew nearly 9.4 million acres of biotech crops in China. In addition to biotech cotton.
  • Brazil experienced the greatest absolute growth, with over 37 million acres of biotech soybeans and cotton.
  • South Africa, the only African country planting biotech crops, increased plantings by 30 percent for a total of 4.4 million acres.
  • Europe experienced a 77 percent increase in 2007 over 2006, growing over 247,000 acres of biotech crops in eight countries – Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, Slovakia, Romania and Poland.
  • Poland and Chile planted biotech crops for the first time in 2007.

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