Though it seems you can barely avoid GM crops in the US, opposition is quite strong in Europe. Photo: Luther Blissett/Creative Commons.
It may be just 10% of the world's total arable land but it still is significant: According to new figures from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agro-biotech Applications passed on by BBC News the world just passed an agricultural milestone, with 10% growth in use last year pushing the total area of land planted with GM crops past the one billion hectare mark (that's 2.47 billion acres or 3.86 million square miles, choose your poison). Roughly half of all those crops have been planted in the United States.Keep in mind that there's a bit of stats tweaking going on here. ISAAA has calculated that total by adding together all areas of land cultivated with GM crops since their introduction in 1996. In 2009 current land under GM cultivation was 148 million hectares.
Brazil saw the fastest increase in GM crop adoption last year, but area under GM cultivation fell in Europe. Just joining the GM crowd in 2010 were Pakistan and Burma which both began planting GM cotton for the first time.
We've detailed pretty much every talking point on why GM crops aren't the saviors of humanity that their manufacturers would like you to think they are dozens of times--from corporate control of crops, to subversion of millennia-old agricultural practice, to farmers suicides in developing nations, to the fact that crop yields aren't nearly as good as claimed (often), to increased use of herbicides (more profit), potential health problems, etc etc etc.
More on Genetically Modified Crops:
Monsanto Continues to Block Independent Analysis of GM Crop Safety
More Wikileaks Cables: US Pressured the Vatican, Spain to Support GM Crops - 'The Rest of Europe Will Follow'