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Adoptions of Genetically Engineered Corn, Soybeans, and Cotton by Farmers Are Up

Yesterday the USDA released a report stating that the adoptions of genetically engineered corn, soybeans, and cotton by farmers are up from this time last year. This just goes to show that when a farmer experiences the advantages that occur with GE seeds, they’ll use them again. The most commonly adopted traits so far are herbicide-tolerance and insect-resistance.

The 14 million farmers worldwide using GE crops are mostly adopting them because of the economic advantages they provide. Not only is the yield per acre increased, but less time and money have to go into tilling, applying insecticides, watering, and weeding. All of these benefits don’t just equal cost savings for the farmer, they also equal a healthier, more environmentally-friendly product for the consumer.

The next generation of biotech crops, engineered for traits like drought-resistance, flood-tolerance, and increased efficiency in absorbing nutrients, promise to continue in this direction. Farmers increase their profits, lower their environmental footprint, and can feed more people. And that makes a better world for everybody.

The Truth About Biotech Crops

There have been some misconceptions floating around in the internet with regard to biotech crop opposition in Europe and Japan. To set the record straight, neither Europe nor Japan is opposed to biotech crops. Their approval processes may take longer than those in the United States, Canada, Australia, and many other countries, but Japan and many European countries are importing biotech food and feed products, and several European countries successfully grow biotech crops. This technology is broadly accepted and adopted worldwide.

In fact, 13.3 million farmers in 25 countries are using agricultural biotechnology today. Ninety percent (12.3 million) of these are resource-poor farmers in 15 developing countries. Biotech crops provide solutions for today?s farmers in the form of plants that yield more per acre, resist diseases and insect pests and reduce the need to till soil and apply chemicals, therefore reducing farmers? production costs. This also improves soil health and water retention.

We think it’s important to remember that farmers are intelligent, informed business people, and they use these crops because they are an integral part of their business. They have a choice to grow whatever crops they wish, using whatever methods they wish, and they are choosing to grow biotech crops in larger numbers every year.

At a time when the United States and the world are looking for science-based solutions to help feed a growing population, agricultural biotechnology is able to deliver heartier crops that produce more food, often in areas with less-than-perfect growing conditions. If a technology can produce more food while helping farmers and the environment, isn?t it worth pursuing?