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February 25, 2012

Contact: Lucy Sharratt 613 241 2267 ext. 25

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Source: (Please note: The full report was not accessible to CBAN at the time of publication) ISAAA Brief 44-2012: Executive Summary Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2012.

GM Crops in the Field

  • 8 GM crops are grown around the world: corn, canola, soy, cotton, white sugarbeet, papaya (U.S. and China only), squash (U.S only), alfalfa (U.S. only).
  • The four major GM crops are corn, canola, soy and cotton.
  • All GM crops except the GM papaya and squash (virus resistant) are either herbicide tolerant and/or insect resistant.

Countries Growing GM Crops

  • ISAAA lists 28 countries growing GM crops.
  • Poland halted the planting of GM corn. Germany and Sweden stopped plantings of a GM potato Amflora as BASF took this GM potato off the market and halted all applications for GM potato approvals in Europe.
  • Two new countries – Sudan and Cuba – grew GM crops in 2012.
  • 9 countries grow 97% of world’s GM crops.
  • U.S., Brazil, Argentina grow 76.3% of the world’s GM crops.
  • The total number of countries growing GM crops in 2012 was one less than in 2011.
Country Percent of Global GM Hectares

*ISAAA provides numbers in million of hectares – CBAN has calculated these numbers as the percent of global GM hectares.

1. United States 40.8%
2. Brazil 21.5%
3. Argentina 14%
4. Canada 6.8%
5. India 6.3%
6. China 2.3%
7. Paraguay 2%
8. South Africa 1.7%
9. Pakistan 1.6%
All 19 other countries growing GM crops grow less than 1% of the global hectares each.

Rate of GM Crop Adoption

  • Global GM crop hectares rose in 2012 (to a total of 170.3 million hectares), but at a lower rate (6%) than that of the past two years.
  • 10 million hectare increase in GM crops globally in 2012 over a 12m increase in 2011 and 14m in 2010, while growth in 2009 was at 9m hectares.
  • 8 of the reported 10 million hectare increase is accounted for by increases in just three countries: Canada, Paraguay and Brazil.
  • Canada up 11.6 from 10.4, Paraguay up 3.4 from 2.8 to 3.4 and Brazil 30.3 to 36.6.

GM Crops in Canada

  • Herbicide tolerant and insect resistant GM corn, canola, soy and some white sugarbeet (for sugar processing) are grown in Canada.
  • Canada has the second biggest rate of increase in GM crop hectares from last year, after Brazil.
  • ISAAA reports record canola hectares – 8.4 million.
  • 97.5% of Canada’s canola is GM.
  • Statistics on GM canola are presented by the canola industry but Statistics Canada does not gather statistics on GM crops in Canada. (Statistics Canada used to gather statistics on GM corn and soy adoption in Ontario and Quebec.)