Genetically Engineered Crops Cover 10% of Farmland

Up from, well, zero about 15 years ago
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 11:15 AM CST

(Newser) – The amount of land being used to grow genetically modified crops ballooned 10% last year, as countries like Brazil and Argentina got in on the game. A full 10% of the world’s farmland now grows these so-called “biotech crops,” which were essentially non-existent 15 years ago, USA Today reports. Last year, biotech seeds were used in 29% of new corn plantings, 64% of cotton plantings, and a whopping 81% of soybean plantings.

story continues below

The majority of these seeds, 61%, are designed to survive weed-killers like Roundup. Another 17% carry a gene that allows plants to effectively produce their own insecticide. The crops are convenient and cost-effective for farmers, but opponents fret that they could pose as-yet unknown dangers to the humans and animals who eat them. (Read more biotechnology stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.