Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

What in the World?

I am not Catholic.  I am pissed off.  I am giving up Monsanto for Lent.

This is Day 9.

Today’s post is brought to you by The Other Side.  The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a pro-agri-biotech non-profit that seems to believe GM crops are the solution to poverty worldwide, has graciously provided the following statistics:

Between 1996 and 2010, the world has seen an 80-fold increase in biotech crops.  The growth rate averages 7% annually.

In 2009, 135 million hectares of biotech crops were grown worldwide.  In 2010, that number increased to 148.6 million hectares.  (1 hectare = 10,000 square meters, or 2.47 acres.)

Roundup Ready soya is the most common GM crop.  (Too bad soya isn’t healthful to begin with!)

In 2010, Pakistan and Myanmar joined the GM wave by planting genetically cotton for the first time.  Sweden became the first Scandinavian country to grow GM crops — in this case, potatoes.

Germany planted the same variety of GM potatoes in 2010, becoming one of 8 EU nations now growing GM maize or potatoes.

The top five GM-producing countries are:

  1. United States — 66.8 million hectares — soya, maize, cotton, canola, squash, papaya, alfalfa, sugarbeet
  2. Brazil — 25.4 million hectares — soy, maize, cotton
  3. Argentina — 22.9 million hectares — soy, maize, cotton
  4. India — 9.4 million hectares — cotton
  5. Canada — 8.8 million hectares — maize, soy, canola, sugarbeet

See more on this Global Distribution of Genetically Modified Crops map and chart developed by the ISAAA

Why the spread?  Surely not political pressure!

U.S. Targeted EU on GM Foods

EU Successfully Undermines Ireland as GMO-Free Zone

U.S. Pressure on South Africa…Quashes Hopes for Mandatory GM Food Labeling

China Relaxes GM Rules after U.S. Pressure

…and on…and on…and on…


Recommended Reading:  Bittersweet Harvest, Harvard International Review, 2006

Read all posts in the Monsanto Project Series.


14 responses

  1. Not that GMO crops are necessarily the answer, but there are a lot of hungry – truly hungry people out there, with huge projections for future growth, which could only exacerbate the problem.

    Sometimes I think, for certain technologies, that the benefits may outweigh the risks.

    Not sure if that could be the case for GMOs, but there is a growing food-supply problem worldwide that needs to be addressed, some way.

    March 17, 2011 at 5:31 am

    • Oh, I agree that there’s a food shortage issue (or at least a food distribution issue), but the more I read, the more it appears that monocropping and GMOs (which are nearly always monocropped) contribute to the problem rather than solving it. More on that in an upcoming post. 🙂

      March 17, 2011 at 7:33 am

  2. jenella

    papaya???? wth?

    March 17, 2011 at 7:40 am

    • Yup. 80% of them. Can you believe it?

      March 17, 2011 at 7:42 am

  3. It is horrifying. Truly horrifying. Even scarier to me is the cross-pollination which takes our choices away from us by default.

    March 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    • Agreed. That’s one of the scariest aspects to me, too…and wait ’til you read tomorrow’s post. 😦

      March 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

  4. It is scary! Here in Alberta (Canada) canola is definitely a big staple crop and from what I’ve seen pretty much all of it is GM.

    March 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    • Yes. 😦 And worse, canola is like soy in that it’s not healthful to begin with. Argh.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

  5. I know, I never use canola oil. Bleh. Just olive oil for me. The crops do make nice scenery though for rides LOL

    I bet I eat a lot of GM veggies 😦 In the winter here if you want to eat fresh veggies they come from the States (obviously as we are a frozen wasteland lol). I try to stick to organic but I see most of it still comes from California. I know some people are into eating a seasonal diet but if I did that I’d be eating seal blubber and caribou only this time of year LOL And I like my veggies so American grown it is in the winter.

    March 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    • Understood. Even here in Idaho, most of our veggies (organic included) are shipped in during the winter months.

      I hear you on the canola — it is pretty!

      March 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm

  6. “biotech” is a word that is so misleading that makes people believe it is somewhat “organic”. It is frightening data you gave and I can only think only us can make the change, believe what we believe and watch them die fast to consume GM products. Biotech actually means “fast money”.

    March 18, 2011 at 9:54 am

  7. Bushrat

    Hey, do you have an info on how much (and what) GM food Aus grows?

    March 25, 2011 at 7:51 am

    • Hmm, I know I’ve come across some info. I’ll see if I have some links lying about. 🙂

      March 25, 2011 at 10:30 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s