As 2016 kicks off, CropLife International wanted to equip the industry with the best and latest information about the role of plant science in sustainable agriculture. So, here are some of the most influential studies published over the past 12 months. Take a look to make sure you didn't miss any!
1. The Continued Growth of the Biotech Market
This report from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) details the remarkable growth of biotech crops for 19 consecutive years. The report shows how 2014 marked another year of strong growth for the technology. It includes all global statistics about the farmers and countries that grow biotech crops.
2. Pesticides Knocked Off List of Top Bee Threats
Friends of the Earth co-authored a report with the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council that identified the main causes of pollinator decline as loss of natural habitats, climate change, pathogens and hunting. Crop protection products were not on that list, as the evidence points to a variety of other factors influencing bee health.
3. Personal Essays to Inform Decision Makers on GM
This is a collection of personal essays from individuals all over the world who have followed the development of biotechnology and are convinced that it has a significant role to play in improving the quality of life of people everywhere. It compiles different key stakeholders' viewpoints, which are meant to generate interest in the field, and inspire and inform decision makers.
4. EFSA Disagrees with IARC Statement
This European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report concludes that glyphosate "is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans". This is a direct contradiction to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which classified glyphosate as "probably" carcinogenic to humans in March 2015. Explaining how it reached a different conclusion, EFSA said it had "assessed more evidence including additional key studies that were not considered by IARC".
5. Farmers and Consumers Benefit from Intellectual Property
Modern plant breeding allows us to develop more productive, efficient and environmentally-friendly plant varieties, which benefit farmers, consumers and the environment. These benefits are clearly demonstrated by a study on Ogura, a ground-breaking technology developed by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research that enables the production of higher-yielding varieties of oilseed rape. The study found that in France alone, Ogura had been adopted by 83 percent of farmers and generated an estimated EUR 1 billion, 75 percent of which went to farmers and consumers.
6. Big Economic and Environmental Benefits From GM
Plant biotechnology continues to provide substantial economic and environmental benefits. It allows farmers, especially those in developing countries, to grow more food while using fewer resources. This report by PG Economics looks at how and where these benefits have accrued.
7. Indian Anti-Counterfeit Paper Provides Practical Solutions
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry released an influential white paper on counterfeit pesticides. They found the level of counterfeit pesticides in India has now reached 30 percent by volume and 25 percent by value of the domestic crop protection industry. The paper goes on to provide background and practical solutions for the authorities, farmers and industry.
8. Bee Population Rising Around the World
This article highlights promising figures from sources worldwide to show that despite some reported regional declines, the world's overall bee population has been rising almost continuously for the past 50 years. For example, there are almost 10 million more beehives in the world now than in 2000 - an increase of 13.2 percent.
9. Principles for Identifying Endocrine-Active and Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
Through the coordinated efforts of governments, academia and industry, considerable progress has been made to develop material that could help answer questions about endocrine-disrupting chemicals. As the science on the subject is refined and improved, the International Council of Chemical Associations has developed 11 principles that should be incorporated into safety testing programs to ensure that results on substances are reliable and relevant to regulators and the public.
10. Biotech Crops Lead The Way
This paper highlights the benefits of plant biotechnology and emphasizes the growing potential of the technology as even more traits are being developed, tested and brought to market with significant societal benefits stemming from positive economic impact, food security and environmental sustainability.