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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

GM Crops Still a Tiny Part of World Agriculture

Immediate release (22 Feb 2011)

Calls to Pete Riley 07903 341 065

GM crops occupy just 3% of global agricultural land according to industry data released today.

The annual ISAAA report on the status of GM crops around the world shows a total area of 148 million hectares, representing just 3% of all the world’s agricultural land. Seventy percent of the 2010 increase was due to expansion in three countries already committed to GM crops ( USA, Brazil and Argentina).

In five countries (China, Spain, Portugal, Romania and the Czech Republic) the area under GM crops fell last year. Spain’s 2010 reduction in GM cropping of 10.9% is part of an overall decline in EU of 23% in the last two years. [1]

GM cropping is dominated by just two traits: herbicide tolerance and insect resistance, or a combination of the two. Weed and pest resistance have emerged in countries where farmers have become reliant on GM seeds, such as the USA and Argentina.

Commenting Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:

These data are hardly earth shattering and show that the vast majority of the food grown to directly feed people is not GM. GM soya and maize are wastefully used to feed livestock and poultry in intensive units and for bio-ethanol and bio-diesel production.

Opposition to GM crops remains strong across the world, and people and farmers are increasingly questioning why governments are allowing the seed industry to become dominated by a handful of companies that use intellectual property laws to claim monopoly rights and to deny farmers and
other plant breeders full access the world’s plant genetic resources for future plant breeding. Common sense says that this makes no senses in a world where millions are starving or undernourished.

ENDs

Notes

[1] See www.foeeurope.org/GMOs/download/FoEE_Who_benefits_fact_sheet.pdf