Biotechnology and Crop Protection
Since the first commercial biotech crops were grown in 1996, plant biotechnology has been rapidly adopted by farmers.
Increasingly, farmers are now planting biotech seeds because of the clear benefits they bring. Through crossbreeding and hybridization scientists are able to produce a plant with new, advantageous characteristics and crops commercialized to date have been modified to improve agronomic traits like insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, pathogen resistance or a combination of the three. Quality traits, such as fruits and vegetables fortified with vitamins, are now close to market and several common crops have been modified to enhance their resistance to insects, such as cotton and herbicides, such as tomatoes.
Foods derived from approved biotech crops are safe and are the most extensively tested food crops available today. Their safety is endorsed by scientific and regulatory agencies around the world – including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the U.S National Academy of Sciences, as well as national academies in the EU, China, Brazil, India and Mexico. Biotech crops are tightly regulated both before they reach the marketplace and once they are on sale. To date, there have been no scientifically-proven cases of biotechnology adversely impacting food safety or human health.
CropLife America, along with its sister organization, Croplife International, works to ensure science-based regulations that maximize the benefits of plant technologies and enable continued research, while taking a lifecycle approach to stewardship of these products – from gene discovery through product phase-out.
To learn more about biotechnology, please access CropLife International’s Biotechnology and Safety Benefits Database.