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Feb 23rd 2011, 14:57 by The Economist online
THE world's farmers planted148m hectares of genetically modified crops in 29 countries last year, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, an industry body. America is by far the biggest GM farmer, with 66.8m hectares under cultivation, 2.8m more than in 2009. As can be seen in our map, GM techn
ology has been enthusiastically embraced in the Americas and in many Asian countries. By contrast, many European countries are subject to severe restrictions on growing GM crops. Developing countries are planting GM crops at a more rapid rate than rich countries. Brazil has added some 10m hectares
since 2008 and overtook Argentina as the second-biggest grower in 2010. India, too, increased its area by over 10% last year. The most popular crop is soya, while the most common modification is tolerance to herbicides.