Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle
Chapter 13: Non-adopters of GM crops in Latin America
Producers in a number of countries in Latin America have embraced genetically modified (GM) crops for commercial cultivation and consumption. Countries that have made this choice include Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Paraguay and Uruguay. The area cultivated with GM crops in these Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries represents approximately 63 million hectares, which is roughly 40 per cent of global adoption (James, 2011). Yet this adoption is largely confined to three crops and two traits. Crops include cotton, corn and soybeans, which embody use of insect protection and herbicide tolerance, or combinations of both traits. To date all of the products have been developed and commercialized by multinational companies. It is not surprising that the adopted GM technologies come from multinationals as they have been the only readily available technologies to farmers in the region. In fact, multinational technologies may be the only ones available commercially for a long time in spite of the many investments in GM technologies by the public sector in LAC countries and elsewhere, as there are very few public sector technologies in advanced stages of the regulatory pipeline (Stein and Rodríguez-Cerezo, 2009). This includes those GM technologies in the regulatory pipeline – generated by developing countries for developing countries – which are in a relatively advanced state of compliance with biosafety regulations but are not advancing to the deployment to farmers stage (Atanassov et al., 2004).
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