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What can data on GMO field release applications in the USA tell us about the commercialisation of new GM crops?

  • Authors: Alexander J. Stein and Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo
  • EUR Number: Technical Note JRC52545
  • Publication date: 7/2009


Most research and development (R&D) of new genetically modified (GM) crops is based in the USA, where also almost 60 percent of all field trials worldwide with GM crops are carried out and where details on these trials are recorded in a comprehensive public database. While there are some limitations to drawing conclusions on the future commercialisation of GM crops based on this database, some tendencies can be derived from the data. In future more GM crops are likely to have stacked traits, with herbicide tolerance becoming kind of standard trait that is increasingly combined with newer ones. These more novel traits for which field release applications are submitted are aimed at improving the agronomic properties of crops (e.g. conferring tolerance to drought, salt or cold; enhancing yield; increasing nitrogen utilisation; altering maturity; etc.) and to a lesser extent also at improving product quality. Regarding the target crops for genetic engineering, most field release applications are submitted for maize and soybeans with little new activity taking place for other GM crops.

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