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Agbio Plows Forward

In the last six years, agricultural biotechnology has become a relatively well-established industry. Genetically modified (GM) crops are planted on about one of every nine acres of farmland in the United States and represent almost a fifth of global commercial seed sales. Still, only a few types of transgenic crops are favored, and those in only a handful of countries. Agbio firms have considerable ground to cover before their products are considered useful and acceptable globally for a wide variety of crops.

Almost all transgenic products that are commercially widespread are based on just four plants: corn, soybeans, cotton, and canola (a genetically altered version of rapeseed). Herbicide-tolerant soybeans and insect-resistant maize account for 62% and 13%, respectively, of the global transgenic crop area; all other types of GM plants are each less than 5% of the total GM crop area. And just four countries represent 99% of the GM acreage planted: the United States (66%), Argentina (23%), Canada (6%), and China (4%) (see “Btr Growing Through Chemistry,” page 91 of the Journal, Issue 1). All this is according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, an industry-sponsored organization that tracks global plantings of biotech crops.

Charts accompanying text include:

Financials for the Top Agbio Companies

Corporations Most Active in Agbio Research and Development

Transgenic Planting and Approval, by Type

Global Adoption of Genetically Modified Plants



» BioMetrics: Agbio Plows Forward

Pipeline: Drug Development by Indication

Capital Markets: First Quarter Comeback

BioIndex: Life Sciences Holds Steady