The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications
(ISAAA) has released its annual report on the global status of genetically
modified (GM) crops, claiming that in 2011 “a record of 16.7 million farmers,
up 1.3 million or 8 percent from 2010, grew biotech crops.” According to
ISAAA, these gains reflected increased plantings by developing countries,
which apparently grew “close to 50 percent” of all global biotech crops, and
among “small resource-poor farmers,” who constituted 90 percent or 15
million of those planting GM crops.

“Developing countries… for the first time are expected to exceed industrial countries hectarage in 2012,” notes the report. “[T]his is contrary to the prediction of critics who, prior to the commercialization of the technology in 1996, prematurely declared that biotech crops were only for industrial countries and would never be accepted and adopted by developing countries.”

Meanwhile, Food & Water Watch (FWW) Europe has issued a February 2012
issue brief contesting the report’s methodology and accusing ISSAA of
inflating its statistics “ to ‘demonstrate’ the alleged popularity of GM crops.”
In particular, FWW Europe’s executive director, Wenonah Hauter, took issue
with the report’s decision to rely on “trait acres” that count one acre of crop
“with six stacked GM traits in it” as “6 hectares of GM.” As she opined in a
February 7 press statement, “Our own analysis… reveals they derive their
figures from reliance on biased data sources, overstating the benefits of
GM for farmers and ignoring figures that don’t support their preconceived
pro-GM position…The only way the GM industry and their supporters can
make GM look good is if they cook the books. The only way they can sell their
product is in unlabeled packages so consumers don’t know where it is. This
smacks of desperation, not success.”

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.