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GM crops and foods on the market in Canada

Four genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) crops are widely grown in Canada, and a fifth (GM alfalfa) was introduced in small amounts in 2016. This is the list of all the GM crops grown commercially in Canada:report ad where in the world

1. Canola
2. Corn
3. Soy
4. Sugar beet (white sugar beet for sugar processing)
5. Alfalfa (for animal feed)

These crops mostly end up as processed food ingredients and animal feed. They are genetically engineered to be insect resistant and/or herbicide tolerant. For details on where these GM crops are planted, and how much, see CBAN’s GMO Inquiry report “Where in the world are GM crops and foods?”

Canada could also be importing a small amount of these other GM foods from the US:

6. GM Papaya
7. GM Squash (some varieties, including yellow crookneck squash)
8. GM Cottonseed Oil
9. Milk products from the US made with the use of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone

GM crops around the world

Most of the world’s GM crops are grown in just a few countries with highly industrialized, export-oriented agricultural sectors:

  • GM corn, canola, soy and cotton account for 99% of the world’s GM crop acres.
  • Ten countries grown 98% of all the GM crops in the world.
  • One country alone – the U.S. – plants 40% of the global GM crop area.
  • 77% of the world’s GM crops are planted in the U.S.(40%), Brazil (23%) and Argentina (13%).
  • India (GM cotton) and Canada (GM canola, corn, soy and sugar beet) each plant 6% of the global acres of GM.

GM crops in Europe

The only genetically modified crop currently grown in the European Union (EU) is Monsanto’s insect resistant (Bt) corn MON810. In 2015, five countries – Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania – planted a total of 116,870 hectares of Bt corn, 18% less than the amount planted in 2014. Spain planted 92% of the total area under Bt corn in the EU. EU regulation allows Member States to opt-out of cultivating GM crops. 19 of 28 EU countries have chosen not to grow GM crops in their territories. Germany and Poland used to grow GM corn, but discontinued cultivation in 2009 and 2012 respectively. EU countries import approximately 40 million tonnes of GM animal feed, mostly GM soy, from North and South America.