GENET archive


9-Misc: On the 2005 ISAAA report on global GE crop planting (1)

                                 PART I
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Global Biotech Crop Area Continues to Soar in 2005 After Decade
        of Commercialization
SOURCE: ISAAA Briefs No. 34-2005: Press Release
DATE:   11 Jan 2006

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Global Biotech Crop Area Continues to Soar in 2005 After Decade of

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Jan. 11, 2006) -- Farmer demand has driven annual
double-digit increases in biotech crop adoption since the crops were
commercialized a decade ago. In 2005, four new countries and a quarter
million more farmers planted biotech crops as part of an 11 percent
increase in global biotech crop area, according to a report released
today, authored by Dr. Clive James, chairman and founder of ISAAA, the
International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.

Since initial commercialization in 1996, global planted area of biotech
crops has soared by more than fifty-fold from 1.7 million hectares in
six countries to 90 million hectares in 21 countries in 2005. The 8.5
million farmers planting biotech crops in 2005 also marked a significant
milestone as the 1 billionth cumulative acre, or 400 millionth hectare,
was planted.

Herbicide-tolerant soybeans continue to be the most widely adopted
trait, accounting for 60 percent of the total global area. Varieties
with stacked traits are growing in popularity, accounting for 10 percent
of the global area. In 2005, 100 million "trait hectares" were planted,
which better quantifies those hectares planted to varieties with
multiple biotech enhancements.

"Farmers from the United States to Iran, and five EU countries
demonstrate a trust and confidence in biotech crops, as indicated by the
unprecedented high adoption rate of these crops," said Dr. James,
chairman and founder of ISAAA. "The continued expansion of countries
growing biotech crops also bears witness to the substantial economical,
environmental and social benefits associated with these crops."

Notably, in 2005 Iran grew its first crop of biotech rice, the first
biotech planting of this important food crop globally. The Czech
Republic planted Bt maize for the first time, bringing the total number
of EU countries growing biotech crops to five with Spain, Germany and
the Czech Republic being joined by France and Portugal, which resumed
planting biotech maize after four and five year gaps, respectively. This
could signal an important trend in the EU.

Two-thirds or 14 of the 21 countries growing biotech crops achieved
"mega-country" status by planting 50,000 hectares or more in 2005,
including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Paraguay,
India, South Africa, Uruguay, Australia, Mexico, Romania, the
Philippines and Spain.

Brazil experienced the most significant growth, increasing its biotech
soybean area by 88 percent to reach a provisional 9.4 million hectares
in 2005. India displayed the largest proportional growth, nearly three-
fold, by planting 1.3 million hectares of Bt cotton in 2005 compared to
500,000 hectares in 2004.

When biotech crops were first commercialized, critics suggested the
technology would never be valuable in the developing world. Now,
resource-poor farmers in developing countries account for 90 percent of
the 8.5 million growers who benefit from biotechnology, while developing
nations represent more than one-third of 2005 global biotech area.

"Biotech crops have increased the income of 7.7 million resource-poor
farmers in China, India, South Africa, the Philippines and seven other
developing countries, helping alleviate them from abject poverty," James
said. "The broader commercialization of biotech rice, the most important
food crop of the world's 1.3 billion poor and the 850 million hungry and
malnourished, can further this effort. Biotech rice could make a
substantial contribution to the formidable U.N. Millennium development
goal of reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition by 50 percent by 2015."

James indicated the future looks promising for continued increases in
adoption levels in the next decade.

"I am cautiously optimistic the stellar growth experienced during the
first decade of commercialization will not only continue, but will be
surpassed in the second decade," he said. "The number of countries and
farmers growing biotech crops is expected to grow, particularly in
developing countries, while second-generation input and output traits
are expected to become available."

According to the report, other indicators of continued growth include
China's expected near-term adoption of biotech rice, more nutritional
biotech food and feed, products and the anticipated introduction of
novel crop products used as renewable resources for more sustainable and
affordable production of biofuels. ISAAA projects the global value of
the biotech crop market to increase from $5.25 billion in 2005 to $5.5
billion in 2006.

The report's executive summary can be accessed at

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech
Applications (ISAAA) is a not-for-profit organization with an
international network of centers designed to contribute to the
alleviation of hunger and poverty by sharing crop biotechnology
applications. Clive James, chairman and founder of ISAAA, has lived and
worked for the past 25 years in the developing countries of Asia, Latin
America and Africa, devoting his efforts to agricultural research and
development issues with a focus on crop biotechnology and global food

Note to editors: 1 hectare = 2.47 acres

                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Global Status of Biotech/GM Crops in 2005
SOURCE: ISAAA Briefs No. 34-2005: Executive Summary
        files attached: Global area.jpg; Mega countries.jpg
DATE:   11 Jan 2006

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Global Status of Biotech/GM Crops in 2005

- 2005 marks the tenth anniversary of the commercialization of
genetically modified (GM) or transgenic crops, now more often called
biotech crops, as referred to consistently in this Executive Summary. In
2005, the billionth acre, equivalent to the 400 millionth hectare of a
biotech crop, was planted by one of 8.5 million farmers, in one of 21
countries. This unprecedented high adoption rate reflects the trust and
confidence of millions of farmers in crop biotechnology. Over the last
decade, farmers have consistently increased their plantings of biotech
crops by double-digit growth rates every single year since biotech crops
were first commercialized in 1996, with the number of biotech countries
increasing from 6 to 21 in the same period. Remarkably, the global
biotech crop area increased more than fifty-fold in the first decade of

- The global area of approved biotech crops in 2005 was 90 million
hectares, equivalent to 222 million acres, up from 81 million hectares
or 200 million acres in 2004. The increase was 9.0 million hectares or
22 million acres, equivalent to an annual growth rate of 11% in 2005.

Click image to enlarge

- A historic milestone was reached in 2005 when 21 countries grew
biotech crops, up significantly from 17 countries in 2004. Notably, of
the four new countries that grew biotech crops in 2005, compared with
2004, three were EU countries, Portugal, France, and the Czech Republic
whilst the fourth was Iran.

- Portugal and France resumed the planting of Bt maize in 2005 after a
gap of 5 and 4 years respectively, whilst the Czech Republic planted Bt
maize for the first time in 2005, bringing the total number of EU
countries now commercializing modest areas of Bt maize to five, viz:
Spain, Germany, Portugal, France and the Czech Republic.

- Bt rice, officially released in Iran in 2004, was grown on
approximately four thousand hectares in 2005 by several hundred farmers
who initiated commercialization of biotech rice in Iran and produced
supplies of seed for full commercialization in 2006. Iran and China are
the most advanced countries in the commercialization of biotech rice,
which is the most important food crop in the world, grown by 250 million
farmers, and the principal food of the world's 1.3 billion poorest
people, mostly subsistence farmers. Thus, the commercialization of
biotech rice has enormous implications for the alleviation of poverty,
hunger, and malnutrition, not only for the rice growing and consuming
countries in Asia, but for all biotech crops and their acceptance on a
global basis. China has already field tested biotech rice in pre-
production trials and is expected to approve biotech rice in the near-term.

- In 2005, the US, followed by Argentina, Brazil, Canada and China
continued to be the principal adopters of biotech crops globally, with
49.8 million hectares planted in the US (55% of global biotech area) of
which approximately 20% were stacked products containing two or three
genes, with the first triple gene product making its debut in maize in
the US in 2005. The stacked products, currently deployed in the US,
Canada, Australia, Mexico, and South Africa and approved in the
Philippines, are an important and growing future trend which is more
appropriate to quantify as "trait hectares" rather than hectares of
adopted biotech crops. Number of "trait hectares" in US in 2005 was 59.4
million hectares compared with 49.8 million hectares of biotech crops, a
19% variance, and globally 100.1 million "trait hectares" versus 90
million hectares, a 10% variance.

- The largest increase in any country in 2005 was in Brazil,
provisionally estimated at 4.4 million hectares (9.4 million hectares in
2005 compared with 5 million in 2004), followed by the US (2.2 million
hectares), Argentina (0.9 million hectares) and India (0.8 million
hectares). India had by far the largest year-on-year proportional
increase, with almost a three-fold increase from 500,000 hectares in
2004 to 1.3 million hectares in 2005.

- Biotech soybean continued to be the principal biotech crop in 2005,
occupying 54.4 million hectares (60% of global biotech area), followed
by maize (21.2 million hectares at 24%), cotton (9.8 million hectares at
11%) and canola (4.6 million hectares at 5% of global biotech crop area).

- During the first decade, 1996 to 2005, herbicide tolerance has
consistently been the dominant trait followed by insect resistance and
stacked genes for the two traits. In 2005, herbicide tolerance, deployed
in soybean, maize, canola and cotton occupied 71% or 63.7 million
hectares of the global biotech 90.0 million hectares, with 16.2 million
hectares (18%) planted to Bt crops and 10.1 million hectares (11%) to
the stacked genes. The latter was the fastest growing trait group
between 2004 and 2005 at 49% growth, compared with 9% for herbicide
tolerance and 4% for insect resistance.

Click image to enlarge

- Biotech crops were grown by approximately 8.5 million farmers in 21
countries in 2005, up from 8.25 million farmers in 17 countries in 2004.
Notably, 90% of the beneficiary farmers were resource-poor farmers from
developing countries, whose increased incomes from biotech crops
contributed to the alleviation of their poverty. In 2005, approximately
7.7 million poor subsistence farmers (up from 7.5 million in 2004)
benefited from biotech crops - the majority in China with 6.4 million, 1
million in India, thousands in South Africa including mainly women Bt
cotton farmers, more than 50,000 in the Philippines, with the balance in
the seven developing countries which grew biotech crops in 2005. This
initial modest contribution of biotech crops to the Millennium
Development Goal of reducing poverty by 50% by 2015 is an important
development which has enormous potential in the second decade of
commercialization from 2006 to 2015.

- In 2005, the 21 countries growing biotech crops included 11 developing
countries and 10 industrial countries; they were, in order of hectarage,
USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Paraguay, India, South Africa,
Uruguay, Australia, Mexico, Romania, the Philippines, Spain, Colombia,
Iran, Honduras, Portugal, Germany, France and the Czech Republic.

 1* USA             49.8 Soybean, Maize, Cotton, Canola, Squash, Papaya
 2* Argentina       17.1 Soybean, Maize, Cotton
 3* Brazil           9.4 Soybean
 4* Canada           5.8 Canola, Maize, Soybean
 5* China            3.3 Cotton
 6* Paraguay         1.8 Soybean
 7* India            1.3 Cotton
 8* South Africa     0.5 Maize, Soybean, Cotton
 9* Uruguay          0.3 Soybean, Maize
10* Australia        0.3 Cotton
11* Mexico           0.1 Cotton, Soybean
12* Romania          0.1 Soybean
13* Philippines      0.1 Maize
14* Spain            0.1 Maize
15  Colombia        <0.1 Cotton
16  Iran            <0.1 Rice
17  Honduras        <0.1 Maize
18  Portugal        <0.1 Maize
19  Germany         <0.1 Maize
20  France          <0.1 Maize
21  Czech Republic  <0.1 Maize

Source:  Clive James, 2005
*  14 biotech mega countries growing 50,000 hectares, or more, of
biotech crops

Note: All data re hectares are rounded off to the nearest 100,000
hectares and in some cases this leads to insignificant variances. More
detailed descriptions of the status of biotech crops in each country are
given in the full version of Brief 34.

- During the period 1996 to 2005, the proportion of the global area of
biotech crops grown by developing countries has increased every year.
More than one-third (38%, up from 34% in 2004) of the global biotech
crop area in 2005, equivalent to 33.9 million hectares, was grown in
developing countries where growth between 2004 and 2005 was
substantially higher (6.3 million hectares or 23% growth) than
industrial countries (2.7 million hectares or 5% growth). The increasing
collective impact of the five principal developing countries (China,
India, Argentina, Brazil and South Africa) representing all three
continents of the South, Asia, Latin America and Africa, is an important
continuing trend with implications for the future adoption and
acceptance of biotech crops worldwide.

- In the first decade, the accumulated global biotech crop area was 475
million hectares or 1.17 billion acres, equivalent to almost half of the
total land area of the USA or China, or 20 times the total land area of
the UK. The continuing rapid adoption of biotech crops reflects the
substantial and consistent improvements in productivity, the
environment, economics, and social benefits realized by both large and
small farmers, consumers and society in both industrial and developing
countries. The most recent survey of the global impact of biotech crops
for the nine-year period 1996 to 2004, estimates that the global net
economic benefits to crop biotech farmers in 2004 was $6.5 billion, and
$27 billion ($15 billion for developing countries and $12 billion for
industrial countries) for the accumulated benefits during the period
1996 to 2004; these estimates include the benefits associated with the
double cropping of biotech soybean in Argentina. The accumulative
reduction in pesticides for the period 1996 to 2004 was estimated at
172,500 MT of active ingredient, which is equivalent to a 14% reduction
in the associated environmental impact of pesticide use on these crops,
as measured by the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) - a composite
measure based on the various factors contributing to the net
environmental impact of an individual active ingredient.

 There is cause for cautious optimism that the stellar growth in biotech
crops, witnessed in the first decade of commercialization, 1996 to 2005,
will continue and probably be surpassed in the second decade 2006-2015.
The number of countries adopting the four current major biotech crops is
expected to grow, and their global hectarage and number of farmers
planting biotech crops are expected to increase as the first generation
of biotech crops is more widely adopted and the second generation of new
applications for both input and output traits becomes available. Beyond
the traditional agricultural products of food, feed and fiber, entirely
novel products to agriculture will emerge including the production of
pharmaceutical products, oral vaccines, specialty and fine chemicals and
the use of renewable crop resources to replace non-renewable, polluting,
and increasingly expensive fossil fuels. In the near term, in the
established industrial country markets growth in stacked traits,
measured in "trait hectares" of biotech crops, will continue to grow
with the introduction of new input and output traits stacked to create
value and to meet the multiple needs of both consumers and producers who
seek more nutritional and healthier food and feed at the most affordable
prices. Adherence to good farming practices with biotech crops will
remain critical as it has been during the first decade and continued
responsible stewardship must be practiced, particularly by the countries
of the South, which will be the major deployers of biotech crops in the
coming decade.

(1 hectare = 2.47 acres)


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