Feb 26, 2010, Josette Dunn
The annual GM industry-funded survey of global GM crops, by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agro-biotech Applications (ISAAA), shows 7 of the 25 GM countries grew less genetically manipulated (GM) crops in 2009. No more countries adopted GM and just 2.7% of global agricultural land was used for GM soy, corn, canola and cotton.
This slowdown in GM crops appears to be largely due to the widespread public concern about the safety of consuming GM foods. “Most GM product goes into animal feed, biofuels or cotton products, as shoppers avoid eating GM foods” says Gene Ethics Director Bob Phelps.
“GM is not a global industry. Just six countries dominate GM cropping, with the USA, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada and China growing 95% of all GM crops. Though 20 other countries, including Australia, grow some GM they are just dabbling.
“The Cartagena Biosafety Protocol will be completed this year, giving countries more grounds for saying ‘no’ to GM crops. 156 countries are now members of the treaty but Australia is not among them.”
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international agreement on biosafety, as a supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Biosafety Protocol aims to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.