Global Distribution Of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops

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Global Distribution Of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops
Infographic – herbs-info.com

Genetically modified crops are being grown by approximately eight million farmers in twenty-eight countries around the world. Nearly three dozen countries ban or prohibit their cultivation. Such bans received significant attention in 2015 when majority of the EU countries decided to stop the cultivation of GMOs within their borders. Russia also issued a ban not only on the cultivation of GMOs, but on their import as well. [1]

Many of the nations that have prohibited the cultivation of genetically modified crops still allow the import of GMO products, particularly of animal feeds. In Europe alone, 30 million tons of genetically modified grains are imported annually. Other nations, such as Canada, Japan and China, allow GMO products that pass regulatory standards. [1]

Countries That Cultivate Genetically Engineered Crops

Soybean constitutes over 50% of genetically engineered crops, corn (maize) makes for 30%, cotton 13%, and canola 5%. An estimated 53% of the crops are engineered to withstand herbicide, 33% for stacked traits, and 14% for insect resistance. The majority of the crops are cultivated in a dozen countries, with the United States leading at more than 175 million acres. Brazil comes in second with 110 million acres. Other top GMO-producing nations are Argentina (61 million), India (29 million), Canada (27 million), China (10 million), Paraguay (10 million), Pakistan (7 million), South Africa (7 million), Uruguay (4 million), Bolivia (1 million) and the Philippines (1 million). The remaining 16 nations have only half a million acres or less. These countries include Spain, Sudan, Slovakia, Romania, Portugal, Myanmar, Mexico, Honduras, Czech Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, and Australia. [1]

Countries That Prohibit Genetically Engineered Crops

Dozens of countries prohibit the cultivation of GM crops. Russia is the biggest country in terms of population to ban both the importation and cultivation of GM crops. The nation banned the cultivation of biotech crops in 2014 and officially prohibited their importation in 2016, allowing exception for scientific research. [2] In 2015, 19 of the 28 European Union nations started prohibiting the cultivation of biotech crops within their borders. Under the 2015 EU regulations, member nations are allowed to ban the cultivation of GMO crops on a case to case basis. 19 EU nations, including France and Germany, voted to block the cultivation of eight new biotech crops that were waitlisted for approval from regulators. They also decided to stop the cultivation of the already approved GMO crop MON810, a version of maize resistant to the European corn borer. [1]

Although the European Union does not grow genetically modified crops, the region continues to be one of the biggest consumers of GMOs in the world. Over 30 million tons of biotech soy and corn used for livestock feeds are imported to Europe each year, making them the world’s largest regional consumer of GMO’s. [1]

References:

[1] Genetic Literacy Project. Where are GMOs grown and banned? http://gmo.geneticliteracyproject.org/FAQ/where-are-gmos-grown-and-banned/

[2] USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Russia Bans Cultivation and Breeding of GE Crops and
Animals. https://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Russia%20Bans%20Cultivation%20and%20Breeding…/

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