GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Shaping the Future of GMO Research

Stakeholder with interests in the risk and/or benefit assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are invited to take part in an online survey.

The aim of this survey is to identify which research needs should be prioritised, thereby contributing to the commissioning of research on the health, environment and economic impacts of GMOs.

The survey will close on 15th July 2015.

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Cultivation of GM plants: Increase worldwide, no great change in Europe

In 1996, the first genetically modified seeds were planted in the United States for commercial use. In the meanwhile, genetically modified crops were grown on 174 million hectares worldwide.


Tendency increasing further: GM plants on 174 million hectares worldwide in 2013
The cultivation of genetically modified plants worldwide also increased in 2013. In comparison to 2012, field area increased by five million hectares to 174 million. In the case of soybean, 79 percent of world production is achieved with GM soy and this figure is 32 percent in the case of maize.



Green gene technology in the European Union: Spain, Portugal and hardly anything else

The use of genetically modified plants in the EU is confined to the cultivation of Bt maize MON810 in Spain and Portugal. There, the crop areas have increased for the past years.



Widespread Bt maize cultivation pays off in Spain

For years Spain has been the only EU country in which genetically modified crops are commercially grown on any sizeable scale. Spanish farmers first began cultivating insect-resistant Bt maize in 1998. Since then, Bt maize has become firmly established in almost all regions with high corn borer infestation levels.



Soy, maize, cotton and rapeseed: The big four
Soy, maize, cotton, and rapeseed account for almost all commercial GMO production. GM plants are grown mainly in North and South America, but increasingly also in India, China and South Africa.

Area under crops and cultivating countries:






Cultivation in the USA in 2013: The trend for genetically modified plants remains steady
In the USA the farmers are still committed to green gene technology. For soy and sugarbeet, in 2013 genetically modified varieties represented over 90% of the total; for maize and cotton it was exactly 90%. Overall, the acreage under GM crop plants increased by 1 million to 70 million hectares.



An EU Research Project

What are the risks of growing GM crops?

What are the benefits?

Numerous studies have addressed the potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) plants. Yet the existing evidence on the effects of GM plants is often contradictory and the quality of scientific research varies widely.

Therefore, the GRACE project will establish new tools for assessing the quality of existing studies and will conduct comprehensive reviews to identify health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of GM plants.

More information


GMO Soybeans & Sustainability

Less soil erosion and fuel consumption: herbicide tolerant soybeans are promoting sustainable cultivation methods.


Glyphosate in European agriculture

Interview with a farmer

Glyphosate containing herbicides are not only used in fields with GM crops. They also allow conventional farmers to sow directly into stubble fields without ploughing. Glyphosate has replaced mechanical weed control in many crops and has had an important impact on agricultural practices and crop yields in Europe over the past few decades.

European Glyphosate Task Force

 GM Crops: Specific Information and Future Projects
March 29, 2010 [nach oben springen]

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