Genetic engineering (GE) deals with the manipulation of genes for human welfare. The versatility of genetic engineering has extended its benefits to agriculture, medicine, diagnosis and several other industries. These advancements helped in dealing with several socio-economic issues and more importantly the blistering issue of global food crisis. As global population grows and climate change impacts crop yields, GM crop varieties offer a healthy and safe alternative to traditionally produced crops in order to meet the future food demand.
Modern breeding techniques are an effective amalgamation of traditional breeding protocols and advanced biotechnology methods including the use of genetic engineering to develop plants that have certain exceptional properties. For instance, market assisted selection uses genetic markers to identify traits in plants such as drought tolerance and improved yield, without the need to actually transfer genes from donor to target organisms. Genetically modified (GM) foods are being commonly used, with a significant share of staples such as soybeans and corn being produced in genetically modified varieties.
The growing consumer awareness about the benefits of GM crops is a primary driver for increasing consumer interest in the biotech foods. Ever since the commercialization of GM crops in 1996, agricultural biotechnology has spread very rapidly and currently, 29 countries cultivating GM crops are reaping its benefits. While markets such as the U.S., Brazil and Argentina have already accepted GM seed products, Europe, after opposing biotech crops for years, is now beginning to realize the benefits of GM foods. China and India, the countries with ever-growing population and yet self-sufficient food production, increasingly favor GM crops. Korea and Japan, both of which largely depend on imports of food in order to meet their food requirements, exhibit a moderate attitude towards GM foods. The U.S. is the largest producer of GM crops covering an area of 69 million hectares in 2011 and accounts for almost three-fourth of total GE crops production across the world. Canada, Argentina, and Brazil are home to genetically modified soy, corn and canola, while China produces insect resistant rice.
Despite the fact that biotech crops offers innumerous benefits, the industry has been facing tough challenges with regard to ethical and moral issues, herbicide and pesticide resistance, species specific action and others. For instance, the European Union still remains indecisive over the acceptance of biotech crops in context of the potential threats associated with it. Several countries in the European Union banned the cultivation of genetically modified potato and maize attributable to concerns over antibiotic resistance. Globally, several protocols have been laid to ensure safe transfer, use and handling of biotechnologically modified living organisms. Adoption of cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation is a prime agenda of the protocols. Important precautions included regulations on international trade of genetically altered crops to curb the spread of associated diseases, pests and ensure fair trade practices.
The research report titled “Genetic Engineering: A Global Outlook” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a collection of statistical anecdotes, market briefs, and concise summaries of research findings. The report offers an aerial view of the industry, highlights latest developments, and discusses demand drivers, issues and concerns, and regulatory environment. Discussion on the industry’s most noteworthy regional market, the U.S., is amply detailed with unbiased research commentary to provide the reader a rudimentary understanding of the prevailing market climate. Market discussions in the report are punctuated with fact-rich market data tables. Regional markets elaborated upon include United States, Canada, India, China, and South Africa among others. Also included is an indexed, easy-to-refer, fact-finder directory listing the addresses, and contact details of companies worldwide.
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