Monday, February 17, 2014

Just in

GMO Crops in 12 percent of world fields

Ithaca--Even as some U.S. consumers reject foods containing ingredients from genetically modified plants, farmers continue to embrace the technology. 

In 2013, crops grown from seed engineered to withstand weed killers, kill pests or resist diseases made up 11.7 percent of fields planted worldwide. Last year, farmers planted 12 million more acres of plants genetically engineered to be herbicide tolerant, pest resistant or able to stand up to diseases than in 2012, said Clive James, with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. The non-profit tracks biotech crops and is based at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

The U.S. leads the world in genetically modified plantings. Commodity crops genetically engineered to be herbicide tolerant or pest resistant are the norm in U.S. fields. In 2013, they included 93 percent of all soybeans, 90 percent of all feed corn and 90 percent of all cotton, according to the Agriculture Department.

The main growth in GM plantings is in South America, followed by Asia and Africa, the ISAAA report said. The top planters of GM crops after the United States are Brazil, Argentina, India and Canada.

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