Val Giddings delivered a review of the impacts of crops improved through biotechnology in a public talk to the faculty and staff of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Crops improved through biotechnology have delivered substantial benefits to consumers and farmers, and the environment around the world since they were first introduced commercially in 1996. Planted in 2017 on more than 189.8M hectares (469M acres) they were grown by ~18M farmers in more than 28 countries, 17M of whom were smallholders in developing countries. The global harvest since 1996 from more than 4 billion hectares has added more than $186 billion in farm value and increased yields enough to spare more than 183M hectares (452M acres) from cultivation. They have reduced agricultural emissions of CO2 by 27B kg, equivalent to removing ~17 M cars from the road for a year, and reduced pesticide sprays around the world by well over a billion pounds. This presentation tells the story with these and more data detailing the enormous success that has led to biotech improved seeds being the most rapidly adopted agricultural innovation in history.