11% decline in cultivation of GM crops in Europe in 2009

Press release - February 19, 2010
Amsterdam, Netherlands — Next week, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a biotech industry-funded body, will publish its annual report including figures on the acreage of land planted with GM crops. Greenpeace denounces the ISAAA for promoting GM crops as a solution to world poverty and world hunger. GM crops are in fact failing both in the fields and on the market, posing a serious threat to the environment and the livelihoods of farmers.

Official figures from the European Union show that in 2009, European farmers planted 11% fewer GM crops compared to the previous year. At the same time Germany and Luxembourg adopted safeguard clauses to prohibit the planting of GM maize on their territories. They joined Austria, France, Greece and Hungary who had all already banned GM maize.

The main reasons for this overall drop - which is higher in Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with a range of -22% to -55% - are higher GM seed prices, low appeal of GM (leaving GM farmers with no market to sell to), and segregation measures that need to be met in order to prevent contamination of the food supply and other crops.  

"Despite the propaganda of the biotech industry, GM crops are a failed experiment. They are failing in the field and failing on the market," said Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy adviser.

"Governments should look to the recommendations of the most comprehensive assessment of global agriculture ever made, the UN-sponsored IAASTD, and start promoting small-scale sustainable agriculture capable of providing food for all without exhausting the natural resources on which we all depend," concluded Contiero.

Other contacts:

Natalia Truchi – Greenpeace International communications:
+ 31 (0)6 2494 0977 (mobile),


Greenpeace briefings and analysis:

(*) Greenpeace report: Counting the Cost of Genetic Engineering


Other Resources:

USDA GAIN REPORT: EU 27 Agricultural Biotechnology Annual July 2009:


Non-Gmo Soy acreage increase in 2009 in USA: