Biotech crop adoption leads to greater sustainability for global farmers

Biotech crop adoption leads to greater sustainability for global farmers
The recent production of next generation biotech crops – including apples and potatoes that are not likely to spoil or become damaged

Two new studies show the continued environmental and social benefits of biotech crop adoption and use for sustainability and socioeconomic opportunities for global farmers and citizens.

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and PG Economics, Ltd. have released new studies highlighting the continued social, environmental and economic benefits of the global adoption of biotech crop adoption.

The studies examine the continued widespread adoption of global crop biotechnology and the significant positive socio-economic and environmental impacts of this adoption by farmers and communities around the globe.

ISAAA Chair of the Board, Paul S. Teng, said: “Biotech crops offer enormous benefits to the environment, health of humans and animals, and contributions to the improvement of socioeconomic conditions of farmers and the public.

“The recent production of next generation biotech crops – including apples and potatoes that are not likely to spoil or become damaged, anthocyanin-enriched super sweet pineapple, increased ear biomass and high amylose content maize, and soybeans with modified oil content, combined with the commercialisation approval for an insect resistant sugarcane – provides more diverse offerings to consumers and food producers.”

What does the ISAAA report show about biotech crop adaption?

The report shows that the global biotech crop area increased in 2017 by 3% or 4.7 million hectares. This increase is due to greater profitability stemming from higher commodity prices, increased market demand both domestically and internationally, and the presence of available seed technologies.

Graham Brookes, Director of PG Economics and co-author of the socio-economic and environmental impact paper, said: “Global food insecurity is a huge problem in developing countries, with around 108 million people in food crisis-affected countries still at risk or experiencing food insecurity.

“We have seen for more than 20 years now how crop biotechnology adoption in developing countries has contributed to higher yields, more secure production, and increased incomes greatly contributing to decreasing poverty, hunger and malnutrition in some regions of the globe most prone to these challenges.”

The PG Economics study also shows great strides have already been made to reduce the footprint of agriculture and in mitigating and adapting to climate change. The latest study highlights how biotech use in agriculture continues to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information or the executive summary of the ‘Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2017’ report, visit www.isaaa.org.

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