Benefits of 20 Years of GE Crops in Canada

This year marks the 20th year that Canada has been growing genetically engineered (GE) crops. Ninety percent or more of canola, corn, soybeans, and sugar beets planted in Canada are genetically engineered for better control of yield-reducing weeds and pests. This has reduced inputs across the board from lower fuel consumption to more targeted pesticide use – with direct financial benefits for consumers.

According to Farm & Food Care Canada, food purchases in Canada now represent only about 10 percent of annual family spending, down from 50 percent in 1900. Today, for every dollar spent on food, the farmer earns 15 cents. It is thanks in part to advancements in biotech that Canadian farmers are able to earn a reliable income and keep producing safe, affordable food for the country and the world.

GE canola, with an approximate 95 percent adoption in Canada, has led fewer herbicide applications, and supported the increased use of conservation tillage. Research at Lethbridge Research Centre showed that this means better retention of organic matter and carbon dioxide in the soil, leading to a direct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

For more details, read the article at CropLife Canada.


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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