Global Biotech Crop Acreage Increases Again

The new annual report on biotech crops by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) notes:

As a result of consistent and substantial, crop productivity, economic, environmental and welfare benefits, a record 14 million small and large farmers in 25 countries planted 134 million hectares (330 million acres) in 2009, an increase of 7 percent or 9 million hectares (22 million acres) over 2008….

Record hectarages were reported for all four major biotech crops. For the first time, biotech soybean occupied more  than three-quarters of the 90 million hectares of soybean globally, biotech cotton almost half of the 33 million hectares of global cotton, biotech maize over one-quarter of the 158 million hectares of global maize and biotech canola more than one-fifth of the 31 million hectares of global canola….

Notably, almost half (46 percent) of the global hectarage was planted by developing countries, expected to take the lead from industrial countries before 2015,…

Remarkably, of the 14 million beneficiary farmers, 90 percent or 13 million were small resource- poor farmers. These farmers are already benefiting from biotech crops like Bt [pest-resistant] cotton, and have enormous future potential with crops such as biotech rice, to be commercialized in the near term.

Sadly, activist groups are still waging their unremitting unscientific campaigns against genetically enhanced crops. Go here for the executive summary ot the new ISAAA report.


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  • ||

    well there are plenty of reasons to oppose biotech crops. For example, unscrupulous patent enforcement, encouraging centralized monoculture, promoting the agricultural/industrial/government complex, disseminating antibiotic resistance genes (which are used in seed selections)...

  • Playa Manhattan||

    I'm willing to bet that's not why they are being opposed. The greens believe that mother gaia wants the herd thinned out...

  • ||

    Feel free to tell those ignorant third world farmers they don't know what's good for them.

  • ||

    Actually, I'd rather we (the us government, monsanto) not tell them what's good for them while fucking them with domestic ag subsidies.

  • ||

    If you're looking for a crowd that will defend ag subsidies, you're in the wrong place.

  • ||

    If you're upset with bad patent law, the threat of botanical monocultures, and intrusive corporate/government policy then perhaps you should channel your efforts into opposing those things. You know, instead of insisting that they're valid justifications for requiring poor people to continue to suffer from starvation and chronic malnutrition.

  • ||

    The notion that GM crops will fix infrastructural problems in africa is absurd.

  • ||

    Yes, yes. Anything that doesn't fix Africa's governance and infrastructure should be disregarded as a solution on any scale.

  • ||

    I thought we were libertarians.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    We are DeVo.

  • ||

    Not only disregarded as a solution, but outright banned, apparently.

  • skr||

    Actually, it has been solving those infrastructure problems. The infrastructure (and corruption) problems prohibit the efficient distribution of food. If the farmers are able to grow enough food upon which to survive and maybe even sell, it doesn't matter if aid orgs can get food to them or not. They don't need the aid. Now I will admit that it isn't a panacea, but it will a least slightly ameliorate the situation. Maintaining the status quo with regards to crop production doesn't help the infrastructure problem at all.

  • MarkySparky||

    Shady patent enforcement, crop monoculture, and government subsidies were around long before biotech. The release of recombinant organisms is highly regulated, much more so than the herbicides/etc which GM crops eliminate.

    What exactly are you opposed to, the risk assessment procedures at EPA/FDA/USDA? Please cite the relevant CFR you want changed. /snark

    No, there are not plenty o' reasons to oppose GM crops in 2010. There is only one: blind ideology. That's a shitty reason to starve brown people.

  • ||

    Or how about foresight? GM crops *the way they are implemented now* are worldwide crop disaster in the making. I'm not saying that GM crops are generally a bad idea. Just the ones that we have now are.

  • ||

    For example, if I were to make GM crops, I would use a genegun to inject self-only genes into the plant, and use traditional plant husbandry for selections.

  • MarkySparky||

    Using "self only genes" would negate the use of a gene gun, since you could just cross pollinate extant varieties (this is what they did from the 50s-present). Blasting maize genes into maize cells without a marker, vector, high-throughput selectable element, and/or defined gene cassette is a ridiculous waste of time and money.

    Also, you do understand that the use of "foreign" (different species) sequences is what differentiates GM from normal hybrids, right???

    Randomly generating hybrids and screening phenotypes was great fun (I say this as a former tassel picker), but we are light-years beyond that today. The traits we are looking for do not exist in the target species. They need to be inserted in a specific way to be functional.

    So, in essence, you are opposed to the core principles of this technology, not just the current implementation. You may choose to believe that your Goldilocks faux-GM version is a viable alternative, but it simply is not.

    You are anti-GM, and for purely aesthetic reasons. DNA does not have some vital force that ties it inexorably to one species, despite what you think.

  • skr||

    +1000

  • ||

    You are anti-GM, and for purely aesthetic reasons. DNA does not have some vital force that ties it inexorably to one species, despite what you think.

    Killer points, both.

    The the worst idea anyone ever propagated on genetics is that there is such a thing as a "fish gene". A gene codes for a protein, and it's function depends on the organism it is in, not the organism it was isolated from.

    Secondly, the whole anti-GMO is completely, absolutely, totally, about aesthetics. Thank you for saying that. It's about people wanting to think of things as "natural" and "pure" and have pictures of happy chickens and shit in their heads. Not like those bad, mean, scientists, with their sinister lab coats, and their unnaturally clean unfarmlike labs! I mean, those genetics labs don't even have piles of manure in the corner or haystacks, even!It's not right!

  • ||

    Do you, like, read anything other than anti-biotech propaganda. For every single issue on that list the position of the anti-GMO wackjobs has been thoroughly refuted.

  • ||

    Sadly, activist groups are still waging their unremitting unscientific campaigns against genetically enhanced crops.


    Happily, they're getting their asses handed to the on a platter by third world farmers.

  • ||

    Sort of like the carbon cutters. They always say that the most dangerous animal in the world is a hungry human, and greenies are learning that lesson on multiple fronts now.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    It was well documented in "The Matrix."

  • ||

    Grrrainsss.....GRAAAAAINSSS....

  • ||

    Win.

  • robc||

    I get the Eastern Europeans, but why are the Iberains so supportive of Biotech?

    Good for them, whatever the reason.

  • skr||

    because the rain stopped falling on the plains

  • skr||

    damn forgot a ? at the end of that

  • ||

    Global Biotech Crop Acreage Increases Again

    Rocky&Bullwinkle; Style Alternate Title:

    People Adopting New Technology In Ever Increasing Numbers.

    Total Newsflash.

  • robc||

    WESTERN HEMISPHERE RULEZ!!!

  • ||

    "Mega-countries?" What's the technical definition of that, exactly?

  • ||

    Never mind, I found it.

  • ||

    well there are plenty of reasons to oppose biotech crops.

    There may be, yonemoto, but your list of reasons reads mostly like pretexts, since banning biotech crops is massive overkill for ancillary issues like:
    (1) unscrupulous patent enforcement, (2) encouraging centralized monoculture,
    (3) promoting the agricultural/industrial/government complex,

    As to:

    (4) disseminating antibiotic resistance genes (which are used in seed selections)...

    Why are those included? Do they cross over from the crops to germs? Linky needed, por favor.

  • I am not spam||

    I fear the plagues!

    http://dailycaller.com/files/boxofplagues-1024x768.jpg

  • I am not spam||

  • ||

    No link necessary, that's basic scientific principle.

    If you insist:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.....e_transfer

  • ||

    for that matter, plants do it directly. Sunflowers for example are a bizzare concoction of several plants that did the nasty and transferred genes in wierd ways.

  • Grif||

    They brought AIDS to the company picnic!

  • skr||

    umm the sunflower example would be an example of vertical transfer not horizontal transfer. (that would be the do the nasty part) Horizontal transfer is more of a concern with viruses like the flu, IIRC.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Ya, das es wierd.

  • ||

    You are aware that the antibiotic resistance genes are for antibiotics that are already medically useless due to antibiotic resistance right?

    I thought not. Your anti-GMO websites don't even bother to mention, much less address, the counterarguments.

  • ||

    PS, i never recall saying anything about banning. in fact, the record will indicate that I said "opposing". Much as I think GM crops (as they are implemented now, blah blah blah), I would not use the strong arm of the government to ban them.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Why don't you just keep using your Tony/Chad handles.

  • ||

    Oh...... I get it, you just want to stand there waving your sign, being seen "opposing", without *actually* suceeding in your opposition.

    It's soooooo much clearer now.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    "hectarages"

    Every Hispanic is not named Hectar.

  • ||

    But, the science is settled. Right? (Snark)

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