Executive Summary: Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014 - ISAAA Brief 49-2014 | ISAAA.org
Remarkably, in 2014 global biotech crop hectarage continued to grow for the 19th consecutive year of commercialization; 18 million farmers in 28 countries planted more than 181 million hectares in 2014, up from 175 million in 27 countries in 2013. Notably, Bangladesh, a small poor country approved Bt brinjal/eggplant for the first time on 30 October 2013, and in record time ‒ less than 100 days after approval ‒ small farmers commercialized Bt brinjal on 22 January 2014. Innate™ potato, another food crop, was approved in the US in November 2014. It has lower levels of acrylamide, a potential carcinogen in humans, and suffers less wastage from bruising; potato is the fourth most important food staple in the world. A safer product and decreased wastage in a vegetatively propagated and perishable crop, can contribute to higher productivity and food security. Also in November 2014, a new biotech alfalfa (event KK179) with up to 22% less lignin, which leads to higher digestibility and productivity, was approved for planting in the US. The first biotech drought tolerant maize, planted in the US in 2013 on 50,000 hectares increased over 5 fold to 275,000 hectares in 2014 reflecting high acceptance by US farmers. Importantly, a new 2014 comprehensive global meta-analysis, on 147 published biotech crop studies over the last 20 years worldwide confirmed the significant and multiple benefits that biotech crops have generated over the past 20 years, 1995 to 2014; on average GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. These findings corroborate earlier and consistent results from other annual global studies which estimated increases in crop productivity valued at US$133.3 billion for the period 1996-2013.
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