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Global Biotech Crop Plantings Grew by Double Digits in 2010

Closeup of a corn field

Biotech crop adoption increased 10 percent last year, according to a study released in Sao Paulo, Brazil today by the International Society for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).  The report, "Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2010," notes that in the 15 years since the first crops were commercialized there has been an 87-fold increase in plantings, making them "the fastest-adopted technology in the history of modern agriculture."

Globally, a record 365 million acres (148M hectares) were grown in 29 countries last year, reaching a milestone of 1 billion planted hectares since biotech crops were introduced in 1996.  James compared that area to the equivalent of the land mass of China or the United States.  Three countries grew biotech crops for the first time:  Pakistan, Myanmar and Sweden, as well as Germany which resumed growing biotech crops with the bt potato.

Biotechnology is one of the tools Pioneer uses to aggressively maximize the genetic potential of crops in order to deliver the right product to the right acre. By combining conventional and new technologies, we provide solutions to help meet the needs of a growing population whose demand for agricultural products continues to increase.  

According to James, ninety percent of growers planting biotech crops are in developing countries where the rate of adoption outpaces industrialized countries, and is expected to exceed industrialized nations by 2015.  James noted that "Clearly, the countries of Latin America and Asia will drive the most dramatic increases in global hectares planted to biotech crops during the remainder of the technology's second decade of commercialization.  Brazil now plants 17 percent of the world's biotech crops, and is second only to the U.S. in planting biotech crops.

Clive James, chairman and founder of ISAAA, noted much of the growth stems from investment in infrastructure, particularly in Brazil and Argentina.  Additional information can be found at www.isaaa.org