Trends in Global Approvals of Biotech Crops (1992–2014)

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Abstract or Summary

With the increasing number of genetically modified (GM) events, traits, and crops that are developed to benefit the global population, approval of these technologies for food, feed, cultivation and import in each country may vary depending on needs, demand and trade interest. ISAAA established a GMO Approval Database to document global approvals of biotech crops. GM event name, crops, traits, developer, year of approval for cultivation, food/feed, import, and relevant dossiers were sourced from credible government regulatory websites and biosafety clearinghouses. This paper investigates the trends in GM approvals for food, feed and cultivation based on the number of approving countries, GM crops, events, and traits in the last 23 y (1992–2014), rationale for approval, factors influencing approvals, and their implications in GM crop adoption. Results show that in 2014, there was an accumulative increase in the number of countries granting approvals at 29 (79% developing countries) for commercial cultivation and 31 (70% developing countries) for food and 19 (80% developing developing) for feed; 2012 had the highest number of approving countries and cultivation approvals; 2011 had the highest number of country approvals for feed, and 2014 for food approvals. Herbicide tolerance trait had the highest events approved, followed by insect tolerance traits. Approvals for food product quality increased in the second decade. Maize had the highest number of events approved (single and stacked traits), and stacked traits product gradually increased which is already 30% of the total trait approvals. These results may indicate understanding and acceptance of countries to enhance regulatory capability to be able to benefit from GM crop commercialization. Hence, the paper provided information on the trends on the growth of the GM crop industry in the last 23 y which may be vital in predicting future GM crops and traits.

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