News last update:6 Aug 2012

European GM crops harvest up 77%

In 2007, over 110,000 hectares of biotech crops were harvested in seven EU member states, compared to 62,000 hectares in 2006 (an increase of 77%). This can be concluded from the latest figures by the biotech industry association EuropaBio.

At the moment, the only type of GM crop grown in the EU is maize, which was approved in 1998. It is not cultivated for human consumption but for animal feed. 

Most increase in France
The greatest reported increase in GM crop cultivation is in France, which has quadrupled in size from 5,000 hectares in 1996 to over 21,000 hectares this year. Cultivated acreage in biotech crops has more than doubled in the Czech Republic and Germany, while Spain, the largest cultivator, saw increases of more than 40%.

The biotech industry says this proves its products are appealing to farmers and are environmentally sound. However, some campaigners are concerned about the impact GM crops have on the environment, and have said the figures are not as encouraging as the biotech industry claims. According to environmental charity Friends of the Earth , the total maize growing area in 2006 was reported to be just over six million hectares, meaning that GM maize accounts for less than 2% of total production.

Related news: 
Austria wins GM corn debate   
EU approves GM corn for feed and food   
EU experts clash on approval of GM maize   

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Source: foodnavigator.com

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