New developments in the patenting, production and use of genetically modified (“GM”) food crops and products are getting press nearly every day. While some may worry about the spread of artificially created genetic material through native plants, it is interesting to see the market penetration of those GM products in corn, cotton, and soybeans since their introduction in 1996. In fact, Soybeans and cotton genetically modified with herbicide-tolerant traits have been the most widely and rapidly adopted GE crops in the U.S., followed by insect-resistant cotton and corn. The chart below, from a U.S. Department of Agriculture web site, summarizes the extent of adoption of herbicide-tolerant and insect–resistant crops since their introduction. It is clear that at least in the U.S., adoption of GM products can be extremely rapid and pervasive.
These tables will be updated with 2011 GE adoption figures in July 2011 once the survey data become available at the end of June 2011.