When the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) released its report on plantings of biotech crops around the world in 2007 (ISAAA scurt 37-2007: Starea Global Biotehnologie comercializate/GM culturilor: 2007 at isaaa.org), increased plantings of 30 million acres from the 2006 level, an 11.9 percent increase, pentru a 282.4 million acres grabbed most of the attention. Equally important are the growth in biotech crops with Òstacked traits,Ó plantings of biotech cotton in India, plantings by small and resource-poor farmers and further expansion of biotech crops.

“”SUA. continued to have the largest acreage of biotech crops at 142.5 milioane de hectare, 50.5 % din total mondial. Argentina and Brazil, two developing countries with large scale agriculture, had the second and third largest acreages at 47.2 million acres and 37.1 milioane de hectare, respectiv. Canada was the fourth largest at 17.3 milioane de hectare. Two developing countries with large numbers of small and resource-poor farmers, India şi China, were the fifth and six largest countries at 15.3 million acres and 9.4 milioane de hectare, respectiv. The next three largest were developing countriesParaguay at 6.4 milioane de hectare, South Africa at 4.4 million acres and Uruguay at 1.2 milioane de hectare. Developing countries had 43 percent of the acres of biotech crops in 2007, până la 40 la sută în 2006.

Double and triple stacked varieties which combine herbicide tolerance with insect resistance increased to 53.8 milioane de acri în 2007, sus 66 la sută faţă de 2006. Acreage with just insect resistance totaled 50.1 milioane de euro, sus 7 percent from a year earlier. Herbicide tolerance alone was used on 178.5 milioane de hectare, sus 3 la sută faţă de anul trecut, mostly in large scale agriculture. When each trait is measured separately, total trait acres increased by 22 la sută. Stacked products were used in 10 countries Ð the U.S., Argentina, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Africa de Sud, Honduras, Chile, Columbia and Mexico. În SUA, stacked varieties accounted for 78 percent of biotech cotton acreage and 63 percent of biotech corn acreage.

Planting of Bt cotton in India continued its rapid growth. În 2002, 54,000 farmers grew 124,000 acri. De 2007, 3.8 million farmers grew 15.3 milioane de hectare, o 63 percent increase from 2006 and about two-thirds of the cotton planted. For the past two years nine out of ten farmers who planted Bt cotton the previous year chose to plant it again. Yields have increased by up to 50 percent and insecticide spraying has been reduced by half. India has replaced China with the largest acreage of Bt cotton. Chinese farmers on average have less than half as much cotton land as Indian farmers, and China continues to lead in the number of farmers growing Bt cotton at 7.1 milioane de euro în 2007.

ISAAA estimates that 12 million farmers worldwide planted biotech crops in 2007, cu 11 million of those being small and resource-poor farmers. In addition to those in China and India, un alt 100,000 were corn growers in the Philippines, bumbac, corn and soybean growers in South Africa and growers in eight other developing countries. The ISAAA report quotes World Bank data that 70 percent of the worldÕs poorest people are small and resource-poor farmers and rural landless labor who depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for income. Biotech crop varieties have a track record of increasing farmer incomes by several hundred dollars per year which can be a 20-40 percent increase in income. The experience of small and resource-poor farmers growing biotech corn for human consumption in South Africa has shown yield increases of 25-100 la sută, better nutrition from an increased food supply, additional income spent in local communities and opportunities for increased education for children.

Use of biotech crops in developing countries continues to be constrained by the lack of regulatory systems that match the current knowledge about biotech crops. Most regulatory systems were designed for ten years ago when biotechnology was still in the early commercialization phase. The technology had proven safe in research and development in industrial countries and in early commercialization, but governments where concerned about adopting the new technology without local testing and regulatory controls. După 12 years and 1.7 billion acres planted in developed and developing countries the technology has proven to be safe. The task now is to design regulatory systems that are responsible and rigorous within the financial and scientific capabilities of resource constrained governments.

In addition to the 23 countries that planted biotech crops in 2007, un alt 29 countries have adopted regulations for imports for feed and food use. This includes Japan and the EU, which allows planting of biotech corn and imports of biotech corn and soybeans. The Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales have removed four year bans on biotech canola, and drought tolerant wheat is being tested in Australia. Brazil has given initial approval of biotech corn varieties that may be available for planting in the 2008/09 production year. Burkina Faso, a cotton producing country in West Africa, Egypt and possibly Vietnam may be the next to allow commercial plantings. On the downside, Bt rice in China which is ready for release continues to be caught in the regulatory process. Drought tolerant biotech rice may be commercially available by 2011 and could open the rice market.

Biotech crops have become a standard part of production agriculture in many developed countries and developing countries. Use is expanding among small and resource-poor farmers. South Africa and China have been early researchers and adopters of the technology. India has advanced rapidly in recent years and now has field trials in Bt eggplant grown by 2 milioane de agricultori. Brazil has been a late comer to biotechnology, but has the financial and research capabilities to provide major advances. These countries will continue to lead in the second decade of commercial use of biotech crops.