Record area of biotech crops used in 2012
Cuba also planted biotech crops for the first time as farmers there seeded 3,000 hectares of hybrid biotech maize.
Not all countries where farmers have been trying biotech crops were expanding their use. Colombia grew 28,172 hectares of biotech cotton in 2012, down from 49,333 hectares in 2011.
Also, Romania, which planted more than 7,000 hectares of Bt cotton in 2008, planted only 217 hectares in 2012. Prior to its entrance into the European Union, Romania planted more than 100,000 hectares of biotech crops, the report said.
And Egypt planted 1,000 hectares of BT maize in 2012, down from 2,800 hectares in 2011.
The European Union continued to be a difficult market for biotech crop expansion efforts. Though five EU countries planted Monsanto's biotech maize in 2012, BASF ceased commercial operations for biotech crops in the EU last year citing market resistance.
"The EU region is particularly difficult to predict because the issues are not related to science and technology considerations but are of a political nature and influenced by ideological views of activist groups," the ISAAA report states.
The three-year outlook for biotech crops globally was "cautiously optimistic", the report said. Biotech sugarcane is seen as likely to be available in the near term and enhanced Vitamin A rice, transfat-free soybeans and omega-3 rich soybeans are seen becoming prevalent, ISAAA said. The world's first biotech wheat is also expected by 2020, the group said.
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