The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) recently released their annual survey on the global status of biotech crops in 2019 and it was good news all around.
The survey, “Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2019: Biotech Crops Drive Socio-Economic Development and Sustainable Environment in the New Frontier,” revealed that worldwide acceptance and use of biotech crops is growing and that this increase has demonstrable benefits.
Increased use of biotech crops is particularly encouraging in developing nations such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Columbia. Also impressive is that the number of countries in Africa using biotech crops doubled to six: newcomers Malawi, Nigeria, and Ethiopia joined early adaptors South Africa, Sudan, and Eswatini.
Biotech crops have positively impacted the world by increasing crop productivity by about $225 billion, reduced CO2 emissions by the equivalent of removing 15.3 million cars off the road for a year, and positively impacting the lives of 17 million farmers many of whom are in developing nations.
And that’s the good news with only 29 of the world’s countries planting biotech crops. Imagine the impact if all countries were to move in this direction.
“These economic benefits, health improvement, and social gains obtained through biotech crop adoption must be made known to the global community so that farmers and consumers can make informed choices on what crops to grow and consume, respectively,” the authors wrote.
Nowadays, “biotech crops” no longer only refers to soy, corn, cotton, and canola—now it also means alfalfa, sugar beets, sugar cane, eggplant, squash, apples, papaya, potatoes, pineapples, and more! There are so many biotech options for farmers to grow and for consumers to choose from.