Environment

Global Acreage of GMO Crops Drops for First Time Ever

(WellnessNova.com) - Since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced into the U.S. food supply two decades ago, they’ve edged out acreage of non-GMO crops. GMO versions of corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, and cotton dominate those key crop categories, making up more than 80 to 90 percent of total crop production. But that may soon be changing.

According to a new report from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, total acreage of GMO crops declined this year across the globe for the first time since they were introduced in the mid-1990s.

The decline may seem insignificant; it was just a one percent reduction, but it’s notable, mainly because demand for GMOs is beginning to decline amid consumer concern. And while that number may turn around in the coming months, it’s a small yet important victory for the anti-GMO movement.

Here in the U.S., where major food manufacturers have recently announced plans to drop or label GMOs ahead of the Vermont state labeling law that goes into effect in July, GMOs have been dominating the agricultural landscape while more than sixty countries restrict or ban the sale or cultivation of GMO crops.

While the safety of genetically altered foods themselves is uncertain, the threat that comes with the companion chemicals, namely Monsanto’s Roundup, the best-selling glyphosate-based herbicide many crops are designed to tolerate, is well known. Last year, the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen. It’s also been linked to endocrine disruption and other health issues.

Written by Jill Ettinger
Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist, editor, and marketing consultant. She is the senior editor and featured columnist on sister sites EcoSalon.com and OrganicAuthority.co,. Jill has been featured in The Village Voice, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Global Rhythm, as well as the anthologies "Towards 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age" (Tarcher/Penguin) and "What Do You Believe?" (Outside the Box). Jill spent more than a decade as a sales and marketing manager in the natural foods industry and regularly consults with emerging brands and organizations in creative communication, social media, and marketing strategies. For more info, visit www.jillettinger.com.
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