BRUSSELS, April 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing body of research evidence indicates that biotech crops are delivering higher yields and better economic performance for farmers around the world.

In a peer-reviewed article that appears in the April 2010 edition of Nature Biotechnology magazine, Janet E. Carpenter writes that the accumulated evidence from farmer surveys helps to explain the widespread and growing popularity of biotech crops. In her research article, Carpenter, who has worked on issues related to agricultural biotechnology for more than ten years, provides analysis of 49 peer-reviewed publications reporting on farmer surveys that compare yields and other indicators of economic performance for adopters and non-adopters of currently commercialized biotech crops.

Research analysis presented by Carpenter supports the claim that biotech crops are providing farmers with increased yields. Citing evidence that 74 percent of yield comparisons of biotech and conventional crops showed positive results for adopters of biotech crops versus non-adopters, she also noted the impact the technology is having on farmers in developing countries.

The results for yields indicate that farmers in developing countries are achieving greater yield increases than farmers in developed countries. The average increases for developing countries range from 16 percent for insect-resistant corn to 30 percent for insect-resistant cotton, Carpenter concluded.

The article also provides evidence of the overall economic benefit of biotech crops. Looking across all measures of economic performance, the results are overwhelmingly positive, writes Carpenter. Of the 98 results in our survey of the peer-reviewed literature that compare the economic performance of GM crops to their conventional counterparts, 71 indicate a positive economic impact, 11 neutral and 16 negative.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), global adoption of plant biotechnology increased by seven percent in 2009. 14 million farmers in 25 countries grew biotech crops, over 90 percent of them small farmers in developing countries.

The peer-reviewed evidence presented in Nature Biotechnology continues to confirm the yield and economic benefits we have heard from farmers worldwide for more than a decade, said Denise Dewar, Executive Director for Plant Biotechnology at CropLife International. Farmers around the world are faced with changing climates and pest pressures which make it challenging to achieve food security for a growing population. The continued increase in biotech crop acreage is testament to the simple truth that farmers, when given the option, choose biotech crops because of the benefits they provide.

Other research conclusions in the Nature Biotechnology article include: - Biotech crops are a cost efficient means of producing higher yields. In most cases reviewed, increased seed costs (including technology fees) were offset by reductions in pesticide costs. - Farmers are looking to biotech crops to save time, which saves them money. A survey of U.S. corn farmers found that the handling and labour time savings, human and environmental safety, reduced yield risk, equipment cost savings and better standability of insect-resistant corn was valued at $10.32 per hectare. - Biotech crops help conserve soil resources by facilitating the adoption of conservation tillage practices.

CropLife International and its members are committed to making available the best plant science technologies to help achieve sufficient, safe and healthy food production, improved livelihoods and the preservation of non-renewable resources.

Note to Editors:

CropLife International is the global federation representing the plant science industry. It supports a network of regional and national associations in 91 countries, and is led by companies such as BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, FMC, Monsanto, Sumitomo and Syngenta. CropLife International promotes the benefits of crop protection and biotechnology products, their importance to sustainable agriculture and food production, and their responsible use through stewardship activities.

SOURCE: CropLife International

CONTACT: For further information, please contact: Deb Carstoiu, Directorof Communications, Plant Biotechnology, CropLife International, c/oCropLife America Offices, 1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C.20005, Tel : +1-202-330-2194, E-mail: