By Clive James, Founder and Chair of ISAAA
Dedicated by the author to the one billion poor and hungry people, and their survival
This Executive Summary focuses on the 2012 biotech crop highlights, which are presented and discussed in detail in ISAAA Brief 44, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2012, and dedicated to the one billion poor and hungry people and their survival.
Biotech crops increase in 2012 for the 17th consecutive year
A record 170.3 million hectares of biotech crops were grown globally in 2012, at an annual growth rate of 6%, up 10.3 million from 160 million hectares in 2011. 2012 was the 17th year of commercialization of biotech crops, 1996-2012, when growth continued after a remarkable 16 consecutive years of increases.
Biotech crops fastest adopted crop technology
2012 marked an unprecedented 100-fold increase in biotech crop hectarage from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 170 million hectares in 2012 – this makes biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent history – the reason – it delivers benefits.
Millions of farmers elect to adopt biotech crops due to benefits they offer
In the period 1996 to 2012, millions of farmers in ~30 countries worldwide, adopted biotech crops at unprecedented rates. The most compelling and credible testimony to biotech crops is that during the 17 year period 1996 to 2012, millions of farmers in ~30 countries worldwide, elected to make more than 100 million independent decisions to plant and replant an accumulated hectarage of more than 1.5 billion hectares – an area 50% larger than the total land mass of the US or China – there is one principal and overwhelming reason that underpins the trust and confidence of risk-averse farmers in biotechnology – biotech crops deliver substantial, and sustainable, socio-economic and environmental benefits. The 2011 study conducted in Europe confirmed that biotech crops are safe.
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