According to a new USDA report released July 1, American farmers have adopted genetically engineered crops widely since their introduction in 1996, especially corn, cotton and soybean varieties. The Economic Research Service report includes key findings:
• Adoption of GE soybeans is 91 percent in 2009.
• Adoption of all GE cotton reached 88 percent in 2009.
• Adoption of all biotech corn climbed to 85 percent in 2009.
Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, Executive Vice President, Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response to the report’s findings:
“Because of the compelling benefits that biotech crops provide, herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant varieties of corn, cotton and soybeans continue to be the choice of American farmers. Since 1996, these crops have proved to yield more per acre and reduce farmers’ production costs with more environmentally friendly farming practices.”
The report summarizes the extent of adoption of herbicide-tolerant and insect–resistant crops since their introduction in 1996. Three tables within the report devoted to corn, cotton, and soybeans cover the 2000-09 period by U.S. state.
A copy of the USDA ERS report, Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S. (July 1, 2009) including data tables, can be read here.