Countries where GM crops are planted
From the United Nations to the World Bank to prominent science journals, calls sounded last week for a new Green Revolution to push back the threat of famine in poorer countries as food prices skyrocket.
Africa is one of the most perplexing problems. The Green Revolution of the mid-20th Century filled rice bowls in Asia and wheat bins in Latin America. But it largely missed Africa, home to some of the planet's hungriest people.
There is far more to hunger than a lack of crop science. Many of the most serious problems relate to food distribution, war, corruption, inadequate weather warnings and other causes.
Still, yield improvements are a critical component of the strategy for filling plates around the world. Africa could benefit from 20th Century technology. But scientists also are pushing ideas for genetically modified crops tailored to Africa's needs. South Africa is the only country on the continent to use them.
Even in Europe, where resistance to GM crops has been fierce, farmers are planting the crops, according to Clive James of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, a network with offices at Cornell University seeking to transfer biotechnology to developing countries.
The United States leads the world in adopting the technology. Here are the countries where the GM crops were planted in 2007 in order of their acreage:
United States: soybean, corn, cotton, canola, squash, papaya alfalfa
Argentina: soybean, corn, cotton
Brazil: soybean, cotton
Canada: canola, corn, soybean
China: cotton, tomato, poplar, petunia, papaya, sweet pepper
South Africa: corn, soybean, cotton
Uruguay: soybean, corn
Mexico: cotton, soybean
Colombia: cotton, carnation
Chile: corn, soybean, canola
Czech Republic: corn
— Sharon Schmickle
More like this
- My path crossed with 'The Man Who Fed the World' in wheat fields from Mexico to Kenya
- Signs of a biotech backlash? More farmers balking
- Minnesota researchers take on deadly fungus threatening world's wheat crop
- Altering food-crop genes: Old issue with new concerns
- In Latin America, a growing backlash against genetically modified food