Transgenic Crops

Genetically modified (GM) crops look just like their traditional counterparts, but they have been engineered to possess special characteristics that make them better. These crops benefit both farmers and consumers. For example, farmers gain higher crop yields and use less chemical inputs. Consumers have access to "healthier crops", i.e. crops grown with fewer pesticides and/or with healthier nutritional characteristics.

GM crops available in the market


Canola is a genetic variation of rapeseed and was developed by Canadian plant breeders specifically for its nutritional qualities, particularly its low level of saturated fat.


Rice is life for more than half of humanity. It is the staple food for over 3 billion people, more than 90% of whom are Asians.

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Corn is one of the three most important grains of the world. It is produced on more than 80 million hectares in developing countries.


The soybean is a plant with a tradition: it was already cultivated in China by the year 3,000 BC. It is the oil crop of greatest economic relevance in the world.

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Cotton is a fiber, feed and food crop. The fiber has many uses and is noted for its versatility, appearance, performance and–above all–its natural comfort.


Summer squash is a tender, warm-season vegetable that are grown in many parts of the world. Summer squash differs from fall and winter squash in that it is selected to be harvested before the rind hardens and the fruit matures.

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Will the technology developed by the University of Hawaii be available to other papaya-producing countries? Papaya is an important crop in Southeast Asia where it is a popular subsistence food among small-scale farmers and their families.


Sugar derived from sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.) accounts for about one-third world requirements while the rest comes from sugar cane.

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Potato is considered the fourth most important food crop in the world, with annual production approaching 300 million tons and covers more than 18 million hectares. More than one-third of the global potato output now comes from developing countries.


Tomatoes are considered today’s most popular garden fruit. For many years, however, tomatoes were considered poisonous and were grown solely for their ornamental value.

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GM crops under development


Do you know that there are over 6000 varieties of apple? The most popular varieties are Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and Spartan.


Mango is considered the "apple" or "peach" of the tropics and the most commonly eaten fruit in this part of the world. Out of the total tropical fruits produced, 40% are mangoes.

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Of the tropical fruits, banana is well liked because of its appealing taste. It is also versatile, as it can be made into other products aside from being eaten raw.


Even with our eyes closed, we can single out the tangy taste of a pineapple from among the concoction of flavors in a fruit salad.

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Barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. vulgare) is one the most important cereal crops in the world. It is mostly grown in temperate climates where wheat, oats and rye are also cultivated.

Sweet Potato

"Without the sweet potato, there would be terrible hunger," says Robert Odeu from Dokolo village in northeast Uganda. A decade of civil war, pest, and disease has resulted in devastation and starvation.

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Did you know that almost every part of a coconut tree can be put into good use? Because of its versatility, the coconut is considered the "tree of life".



Summary Report on the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops - [View the 2004 report]

Transgenic Crops - [Click Here]

Extensive Study on Bt Cotton - [Click Here]

Download the complete copy of the ISAAA Briefs on Global Status/Review of GM Crops - [Click Here]

SciDev.Net's dossier on GM crops - [Click here]

Global Status of Approved Genetically Modified Plants -  [Click here]

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