Over 114 million hectares of land was planted to GM crops in 23 countries in 2007. Poland and Chile were new additions with Chile producing GM for seed export and Poland grew Bt maize for the first time. The USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India and China top the list in order of hectares planted according to a new report from the ISAA by Clive Hamilton.
For the third consecutive year India reported the largest year-on-year proportional increase of GM crop plantings, with an increase of 63 percent. The area of Bt cotton grown in India increased from 50,000 hectares in 2002, to 6.2 million hectares in 2007 and is grown by 3.8 million farmers.
Australian farmers grew just 0.1 million hectares of cotton in 2007 and the 2008 Australian cotton crop is set to be the smallest in 30 years with just 65,000 hectares of cotton planted late last year because of the drought.
Cotton is the only GM crop that can be grown commercially in Australia. There are bans on the growing of all GM crops in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the South Australian government has just decided to continue its bans beyond April this year. The moratoriums in NSW and Victoria should be lifted this year.
The NSW government has exempted GM cotton from its bans on GM crops which were introduced in 2004 to prevent the planting of new varieties of canola.
Canadian farmers grew 7 million hectares of GM canola, maize and soybean in 2007.
from the ‘Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2007’, by Clive James