Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States

60 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2014

See all articles by Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo

Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Seth Wechsler

Independent

Mike Livingston

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Lorraine Mitchell

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Date Written: February 1, 2014

Abstract

More than 15 years after their first successful commercial introduction in the United States, genetically engineered (GE) seeds have been widely adopted by U.S. corn, soybean, and cotton farmers. Still, some questions persist regarding the potential benefits and risks of GE crops. The report finds that, although the pace of research and development (measured by the number of USDA-approved field tests) peaked in 2002, other measures show that biotech firms continue to develop new GE seed varieties at a rapid pace. Also, U.S. farmers continue to adopt GE seeds at a robust rate, and seed varieties with multiple (stacked) traits have increased at a very rapid rate. Insecticide use has decreased with the adoption of insect-resistant crops, and herbicide-tolerant crops have enabled the substitution of glyphosate for more toxic and persistent herbicides. However, overreliance on glyphosate and a reduction in the diversity of weed management practices have contributed to the evolution of glyphosate resistance in some weed species.

Keywords: Genetically engineered crops, agricultural biotechnology, seed industry, research and development, adoption, crop yields, pesticide use, corn, soybeans, cotton

Suggested Citation

Fernandez Cornejo, Jorge and Wechsler, Seth and Livingston, Michael J. and Mitchell, Lorraine, Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States (February 1, 2014). USDA-ERS Economic Research Report Number 162. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2503388 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2503388

Jorge Fernandez Cornejo (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5537 (Phone)
202-694-5775 (Fax)

Seth Wechsler

Independent

Michael J. Livingston

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

1400 Independence Ave SW
Mail Stop 1800
Washington, DC 20250-1800
United States
202-694-5543 (Phone)
202-245-4847 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ers.usda.gov/AboutERS/Bios/view.asp?ID=mlivingston

Lorraine Mitchell

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States

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