Agricultural or “green” biotechnology is being adopted at record speed around the world. In 2008: 13.3 million farmers in 25 countries cultivated genetically modified (biotech) crops on 125 million hectares. This is a 9.4% increase in global biotech crop acreage compared to 2007, demonstrating that farmers around the world, especially in developing countries where 90% of cultivation takes place, recognize the benefits plant technology can bring.
Planting in Europe is on a smaller scale, but has accelerated over the last 11 years as farmers start realizing the benefits of biotech crops; lower costs and lower mycotoxins levels being the drivers for insect-resistant maize. In 2008: 107,719 hectares of biotech crops were planted in seven EU countries. The technology is safe and regulatory systems, if applied correctly in the countries of the European Union, guarantee consumers and farmers the choice of whether toconsume and plant GM food and GM crops, respectively
Agricultural biotechnology offers tremendous opportunites across key European public policy goals, including sustainability, CO2 emissions reductions, energy efficiency, innovation, education, development, promotion of scientific research, retention of skills, health and trade. Biotechnology is being exploited at an accelerating rate by Europe’s competitors. When allowed to flourish in the EU, it can improve environmental sustainability and competitiveness and would help to ensure that world food production keeps up with rising demand.