GM food production increasing
With upwards of 90 percent of soybeans grown in the U.S. being glyphosate resistant, this shows the U.S. acceptance of GM crops for processing into food and feed ingredients. Reports related to biotech crops has to be limited to GM crops and not advanced bred crops because advanced breeding is being used with almost every plant under cultivation around the world today. Advanced breeding for things such as the recent Nigerian government approval of commercialization of Vitamin A enhanced corn cannot be confused with GM engineering. It wasn’t developed by GM engineering.
Africa is a country with land for dramatically expanding crop production, but the continent only had three countries growing GM crops as of 2011—Burkina Faso, Egypt and South Africa. At 2.3 million hectares, South Africa by far led the way. It was ninth worldwide in GM crop production. There is enough GM production that mandatory GMO food labeling was to take effect this year, and there has been considerable squabbling over definitions and interpretations, according to a recent Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) report.
WHEAT AN EMPHASIS
The Australian government has a national food strategy that recognizes that without adoption of GM crop production it will not be possible to meet the challenge of growing twice as much food by 2050, but as of 2011, Australia had less than 1 million acres of GM crop production—only cotton and canola. The interesting aspect is that Australia is a leader in GM wheat research today.
It should also be noted that the United Kingdom has GM wheat research underway even though it has no commercial GM approved crop production in the country. The UK averages a very high nine tons per hectare wheat yield today (world average is 3 tons per hectare), and wheat researchers think they can double their high UK yields within 20 years, according to a Bloomberg news agency report.
There has been considerable discussion about China’s involvement in GM crop production, but through 2011 there were only 3.9 million hectares under production, sixth largest in the world, with the widest variety of crops outside the U.S. Three vegetables were recognized in production—papaya, tomatoes and sweet peppers.
Another USDA/FAS report outlined by SeedQuest, noted that even China with problems feeding its people, an increasing population and foreign investment in biotechnology research centers, such as the Syngenta Biotechnology China Co. Ltd. in Beijing that opened in 2008, has hesitancy by its population to fully accept GM food production.