GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Stakeholder input wanted: survey on research needs for assessing GMO impacts 

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.

More information and access to the online survey

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Over half of the world's 2007 soybean crop (58.6%) was genetically modified, a higher percentage than for any other crop. Each year, EU Member States import approximately 40 million tonnes of soy material, primarily destined for use as cattle, swine, and chicken feed. Soybeans are also used to produce many food additives.

In 2007, 216 million tonnes of soybeans were produced worldwide. The world’s leading soybean producers are the United States (33%), Brazil (27%), Argentina (21%), and China (7%). India and Paraguay are also noteworthy soybean producers.

Worldwide soybean production: The first genetically modified soybeans were planted in the United States in 1996. More than ten years later, GM soybeans are planted in nine countries covering more than 60 million hectares. These GM soybeans possess a gene that confers herbicide resistance.

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Traditional soy products like tofu, miso, and soy sauce are produced from whole soy beans.

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Soybean production is an important industrial sector in the US and in South America.

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Most soybeans end up in cattle, swine, and poultry feed.

GM plants are widespread in the world’s leading soybean producing countries.

  • The United States (85%) and Argentina (98%) produce almost exclusively GM soybeans. In these countries, GM soybeans are approved without restrictions and are treated just like conventional soybeans. Producers and government officials in the US and Argentina do not see a reason to keep GM and conventionally bred cultivars separate – whether during harvest, shipment, storage or processing. Soybean imports from these countries generally contain a high amount of GM content.
  • At one time, GM soybeans were not permitted in Brazil. Nevertheless, GM seed was smuggled in from neighbouring countries and planted illegally. Now, GM soybeans are approved. In 2007, 64 per cent of the country’s soybean crop is genetically modified. Most of Brazil’s conventional soybeans are grown in the northern part of the country. European food and feed companies were able to determine that soybeans from northern Brazil contain little or no GM material.
  • Large-scale, commercial plantings of genetically modified soybeans can also be found in Paraguay, Canada, Uruguay and South Africa.

Soybean imports into the EU: Each year, the EU imports approximately 40 million tonnes of raw soy products, primarily from Brazil, the United States and Argentina.

  • Imported soy is predominately used to feed livestock. Without the protein offered by soy, Europe would not be able to maintain its current level of livestock productivity.

  • During processing, soybeans are pressed in oil mills, and the derived oil is extracted and refined for food use.

  • In addition, soybeans are used to produce numerous food ingredients and additives. Lecithin, for example, is used as an emulsifier in chocolate, ice cream, margarine, and baked goods.

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

Crops and Cereals
Gm Plants: Cultivation and Futur Projects
Rape Seed
Sugar beet
December 3, 2008 [nach oben springen]

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