Crop Biotech Update

Biotech Crops Cartoon 'Mandy & Fanny' Goes Online

April 15, 2011

The novel educational cartoon publication "Mandy & Fanny : The Future of Sustainable Agriculture" illustrates the attributes of biotech/genetically modified (GM) crops –biotech maize (corn) and biotech cotton and are viewed as the "Tom and Jerry" of modern biotech agriculture. The rationale for creating the cartoon around biotech crops is to spread the factual messages about biotech crops as the popular media is rife with misinformation on biotech crops. Therefore, the cartoon publication aims to provide authentic and accurate information re biotech crops with the society who is not well conversant with science of biotechnology.

Dr. Clive James, Founder and Chairman of ISAAA lauded the effort to convey authoritative messages to young people using innovative and creative ways to communicate the science of biotechnology to society – he stated that, "My hope is that the educational cartoon publication "Mandy & Fanny" will contribute to the knowledge needs of children and young people in society, about the fast-evolving science of biotechnology, and more specifically biotech crops." 

In only 15 years, subsequent to the first commercialization in 1996, the accumulated biotech crops hectarage exceeded an unprecedented 1 billion hectares in 2010 - a historical milestone which signifies that biotech crops have gained the confidence of millions of farmers and consumers worldwide and are here to stay. Mandy who impersonates biotech maize was planted over 46 million hectares in 16 countries representing 29% of the total 158 million hectares of maize grown in the world in 2010. While, millions of farmers in industrial and developing countries planted "Fanny" or biotech cotton on 21 million hectares in 13 countries representing 64% of the total 33 million hectares of cotton grown in the world in 2010. Biotech cartoon "Mandy & Fanny" is a crop-based educational cartoon that is designed to enhance understanding about biotech crops, particularly for children and young people at learning institutions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Middle East, are now available online on ISAAA India website http://www.isaaa.org/india.

For a print copy of the cartoon, illustrations and video of the cartoon publication "Mandy & Fanny: The Future of Sustainable Agriculture", contact: b.choudhary@cgiar.org.