Resistance to ag biotech: The importance of distinguishing between weak and strong attitudes

The following is an edited excerpt.

In 2012, a record 17.3 million farmers grew biotech crops on 170 million hectares. Of the 28 countries that planted biotech crops in 2012, 20 were developing and 8 were industrialized countries. Two new countries, Sudan (Bt cotton) and Cuba (Bt maize) planted genetically modified (GM) crops for the first time in 2012.

Yet, the optimistic global situation stands in strong contrast to the situation in Europe and Africa: in 2012, five EU countries planted a mere 129071 hectares of biotech Bt maize of which 116307 hectares are located in Spain. In Africa there is only Sudan, Egypt, Burkina Faso and South Africa that have approved GM crops for commercial release.

Why are Africa and Europe so much decoupled from the global boom of biotech crops? And why have most commercial attempts to go beyond the big industrial crops (corn, soybean, cotton, rapeseed) and the most convenient traits (pest resistance/herbicide tolerance) largely failed?

Read the full article here: Resistance to ag biotech: The importance of distinguishing between weak and strong attitudes


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