Publications: ISAAA Briefs


No. 1 - 1996

Global Review of the Field Testing and Commercialization of Transgenic Plants: 1986 to 1995

The First Decade of Crop Biotechnology


Clive James
Chair, ISAAA Board of Directors

and  

Anatole F. Krattiger
Executive Director of ISAAA

download


Published by: The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Ithaca, New York 
Copyright: (1999) International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)
Reproduction of this publication for educational or other noncommercial purposes is authorized without prior permission from the copyright holder, provided the source is properly acknowledged.
Reproduction for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without the prior written permission from the copyright holder.
Correct Citation: James, C. and A.F. Krattiger. 1996. Global Review of the Field Testing and Commercialization of Transgenic Plants, 1986 to 1995: The First Decade of Crop Biotechnology. ISAAA Briefs No. 1. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY. pp. 31
Cover Picture: Copy from Biosafety for Sustainable Agriculture: Sharing 
Biotechnology Regulatory Experiences of the Western Hemisphere (Krattiger A.F. and A. Rosemarin, eds.). ISAAA: Ithaca and SEI: Stockholm. 
Publication Orders:

Please contact the ISAAA SEAsiaCenter, write to publications@isaaa.org, or order online.

ISAAA SEAsiaCenter
c/o IRRI
DAPO Box 7777
Metro Manila, The Philippines


 

Contents

 

Executive Summary
List of Tables
List of Figures

Introduction
Regulation of Transgenic Crops
Methodology for Data Collection and Definitions
Countries Which Have Conducted Field Trials with Transgenic Crops, 1986 to 1995
Transgenic Crops Tested in Field Trials, 1986 to 1995
Traits Modified by Plant Transformation
Overview of Field Trial History and Current Status
Transgenic Crops in the Industrialized Countries, Eastern Europe and Russia

    North America
    European Union Countries
    Eastern European Countries and Russia
    Industrialized Countries of Asia

Transgenic Crop Field Trials in Developing Countries

    Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
    Asia
    Africa

Status of Commercialization of Transgenic Crops
Conclusions and Outlook
Acknowledgments
References

 


Executive Summary

The international scientific and development community now recognizes that doubling or tripling of world food, feed and fiber production by the year 2050 to meet the needs of an 11 billion global population cannot be achieved without biotechnology. Genetic engineering of crops has been a controversial subject since 1971 when the first genetically modified organisms were developed. Concern about biosafety has led to Government regulation of transgenic crops in contained and field experiments to assess potential risk before the genetically engineered crops are approved for commercialization. The first field trials of transgenic crops featured herbicide resistance, used as a marker gene in tobacco in the USA and France in 1986. In the interim period, more than 3,500 field trials of transgenic crops have been conducted on more than 15,000 individual sites, in 34 countries with at least 56 crops, mostly in North America and the European Union. 91% of the trials have been conducted in industrialized countries, 1% in Eastern Europe and Russia and the balance of 8% in the developing countries with most in Latin America and the Caribbean, only 2% in the developing countries of Asia, almost exclusively in China, and very few in Africa, almost all in South Africa. The majority of the trials have been conducted in the USA, Canada, France, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, followed by Belgium, Argentina, Italy, China, Germany, Australia, Chile and Mexico.

China was the first country to commercialize transgenics in the early 1990s with the introduction of virus resistant tobacco, and later a virus resistant tomato. The first approval for commercial sale of a genetically modified product for food use in an industrialized country was in the USA in May 1994 when Calgene marketed its FlavrSavr™ delayed ripening tomato. By year-end 1995, 35 applications or petitions had been granted to commercially grow 9 transgenic crops, involving 8 traits in 6 countries plus the European Union, with most approvals in the USA (20) and Canada (8) which together account for 80% of the number of approvals worldwide. An additional 11 limited approvals by 3 countries have been granted for use of a product from a transgenic crop for food and/or feed use or for breeding or import. Another 28 applications are pending in 4 countries, seeking approval to either grow transgenic crops or use products derived from them. It is estimated that over 3 million acres of genetically engineered crops have been planted in the USA in 1996 for seed multiplication or as commercial crops. The major transgenic crops approved for commercial production in the USA in 1996 are: tomato with delayed ripening qualities (also approved in Mexico); cotton with insect resistance conferred by the Bt gene, and herbicide resistance; soybean with herbicide resistance (also approved in Argentina); corn/maize with insect or herbicide resistance or male sterility; canola/rapeseed with modified oil quality; an insect resistant potato; and squash with virus resistance. Canada is commercializing transgenic canola with herbicide resistance or modified oil, corn with insect resistance or herbicide resistance and potatoes with insect resistance in 1996. Countries of the European Union have approved commercial production of only transgenic tobacco, with limited approval for food and/or feed use of imported products of herbicide resistant canola, and cotton oil as well as delayed ripening tomatoes. Applications for commercial production of additional transgenic crops are pending in several industrialized countries and are expected to be approved in the imminent future.

It is noteworthy that with the exception of China, which is reported to be growing more than 2.5 million acres of transgenic tobacco and tomato, all the approvals to-date in the industrialized countries have been granted to private sector corporations which have the majority of the investments in biotechnology. Public sector institutions in various countries are conducting field trials with transgenics, however they represent a small percentage of the total; an exception is Australia where the majority of applications in 1995 were from the public sector.

The impact and the constraints to increased adoption of transgenic crops as well as the future outlook for products from crop biotechnology is discussed. The projected value of the global market in transgenic crops is estimated at between $2 billion and $3 billion dollars for the year 2000 increasing to $6 billion in 2005.


List of Tables

Table 1 Total Number of Transgenic Crop Field Trials in Different Countries Worldwide 
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 2 List of Transgenic Crops Tested in Field Experiments Worldwide  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 3 List of Traits Modified by Transformation 
Table 4 Number of Transgenic Crop Field Trials Worldwide  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 5 Characteristics of 194 "Notifications" Submitted to APHIS in the Nine Month Period of 1 September 1995 to 31 May 1996 
Table 6 Transgenic Crop Field Trials in Eastern Europe and Russia: By Crop and Trait  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 7 Transgenic Crop Field Trials in the Industrialized Countries of Asia: By Crop and Trait  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 8 Transgenic Crop Field Trials in Latin America and the Caribbean: By Crop and Trait  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 9 Transgenic Crop Field Trials in the Developing Countries of Asia: By Crop and Trait  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 10 Transgenic Crop Field Trials in Africa: By Crop and Trait  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Table 11 Global Status of Applications for the Commercialization of transgenic Crops 
Table 12 Summary of Transgenic Crops that have been Approved, or Pending Approval for Growing in the USA as Commercial Crops 

List of Figures

Figure 1 Number and (%) of Transgenic Crop Field Trials Worldwide: Most Frequent Crops  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 2 Number and (%) of Transgenic Crop Field Trials Worldwide: Most Frequent Trait Categories  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 3 Number of Transgenic Crop Field Trials Worldwide: By Region  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 4 Number and (%) of Transgenic Crop Field Trials in the USA: Most Frequent Crops  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 5 Number and (%) of Transgenic Crop Field Trials in the USA: Most Frequent Trait  
Categories (1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 6 Number of Permits and Notifications for Transgenic Crop Field Trials in the USA  
(1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 7 Number of Transgenic Crop Field Trials in the Developing Countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 8 Number and (%) of Transgenic Crop Field Trials in Developing Countries:  
Most Frequent Crops (1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 9 Number and (%) of Transgenic Crop Field Trials in Developing Countries:  
Most Frequent Trait Categories (1986 through 31 December 1995) 
Figure 10 Crop Biotechnology Products for the Future