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Biotech Crops Flourish Worldwide

posted on December 10, 2004

Genetically modified foods have been declared safe by the European Food Safety Authority. New rules on traceability and labeling have been passed by the European Union. And yet, according to a USDA report, the EU continues to resist the approval of GM foods for Europe.

Consumer resistance to GM foods is strong in Europe ... and individual member nations and various EU commissions have slowed the approval process because of that opposition.

But according to a new study done in the U.S., it may not be long before the Europeans stand alone in resisting the production of GM foods.


Biotech Crops Flourish Worldwide

Talk of Roundup Ready soybeans and other biotech crops may be old hat in the U.S. ... but now such crops are taking root across the globe. A University of Minnesota study says there is about $44 billion dollars worth of biotech crops planted primarily in five countries.

More than half that value -- $28 billion dollars worth -- is planted in the U.S. in biotech soybeans, corn, cotton and canola.

Argentina has planted $8.9 billion dollars worth of genetically engineered soybeans and corn. Brazil has biotech beans worth $1.6 billion dollars.

China planted $3.9 billion dollars worth of biotech cotton.

Canada planted $2 billion dollars worth of genetically engineered canola, corn and soybeans.

The study found that more than half of the world's soybeans are biotech varieties. 30% of all cotton comes from biotech seeds, and 15% of corn and canola are genetically modified.

Europe still has fears about the safety of gene-altered food, and the study asserts that the EU can slow the global spread of biotech crops ... but cannot halt it.

Biotech activity isn't limited to traditional row crops. Research has been done on crops including tomatoes, potatoes, squash, sweet peppers, papaya, melon, bananas and apples. Some countries also are researching biotech tobacco, coffee, peanuts, mustard, and cocoa.


Tags: agriculture biotechnology crops European Union food food safety genetic engineering news USDA