For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Millions Against Monsanto page and our Genetic Engineering page.
Numbers don’t lie. Over the past 20 years, America’s seeds, animal feed and biofuels have been infiltrated like a virus by genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The primary winners in this game of genetic roulette have been the profit margins of the world’s largest biotech, pesticide and agrochemical companies.
More than 40 percent of all U.S. cropland is devoted to GMO crops. Yet even though nearly 80 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. now contain GMOs, the majority of genetically engineered (GE) crops aren’t grown to feed humans. The bulk of today’s GE soybeans and corn in particular, are used to feed animals and generate biofuels.
Americans consume 193 pounds of GMOs annually. And the animals that provide us with nearly all the meat, poultry and dairy we eat are force fed GE crops their bodies were never designed to process.
Who’s getting healthy on GMOs? Not the American people, whose health has declined since GMOs were introduced into our food. Not American farmers, whose numbers have dropped precipitously since agribusiness has taken over our farmland. And not the billions of animals being pumped full of antibiotics to stave off illnesses associated with confinement and GMO feed.
No, the only ones getting healthy are the four largest pesticide, agrochemical and biotech companies - Monsanto, Dupont, Dow Chemical, and Syngenta – whose sales have jumped from $60.1 billion in 2004 to $119.3 billion in 2012.
America’s Growing GMO Seed Dependence
404 million: Approximate number of acres of U.S. cropland.
172 million: Number of acres of GMO crops in the U.S., nearly double its nearest competitor (Brazil at 90 million).
94: Percentage of U.S. soy crops that currently contain GMOs.
54: Percentage of U.S. soybeans in 2000 that contained GMOs, up from 42% in 1998 and only 7% in 1996
90: Percentage of U.S. cotton crops that contain GMOs.
61: Percentage of U.S. cotton crops that contained GMOs in 2000, up from 42% in 1998, and 15% in 1996.
88: Percentage of U.S. corn crops that contain GMOs.
25: Percentage of U.S. corn containing GMOs in 2000, about the same as 1998 (26%), but up from 1.5% in 1996.
90: Percentage of U.S. canola crops that contain GMOs.
95: Percentage of U.S. sugar beet crops that contain GMOs.
57: Percentage of American sugar production that comes from sugar beets.
GMOs: Fueling our Factory Farms and Automobiles
98: Percentage of U.S. GMO soy used for animal feed and fuel production (~70% to feed and ~25% to biofuels).
71: Percentage of U.S. GMO corn that is used for animal feed (40%) and fuel production (31%).
Approximately 67: Percentage of world’s GMO canola seed oil used in animal feed.
12.2 million: Number of hectares of GMO crops (nearly 10 percent of the global total) used in the U.S. for biofuels in 2008.
The Winners: Biotech, Agrochemical and Pesticide Industries
$13.5 billion: Monsanto’s net sales in 2012 (largest biotech seed company in the world), up from $5.5 billion in 2004.
$34.8 billion: Dupont’s net sales in 2012, up from $8 billion.
$56.8 billion: Dow Chemical’s net sales in 2012, up from $40.1 billion.
$14.2 billion: Syngenta’s net sales in 2012, up from $7.3 billion in 2004.
Compiled by Zack Kaldveer, assistant media director for the Organic Consumers Association.