Despite the strong opposition to GMOs by many consumer group advocates and many scientists, domestically and internationally, including some FDA scientists who raised questions about the safety of GMOs almost two decades ago, the speed at which GMOs are entering the market place seems unaffected.
The statistics tell the story. In a report issued by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), and as reported by the GMO Compass two days ago, a marked rise in commercial use of genetically modified plants globally is expected. Specifically, the OECD projects that by 2015, GM varieties are expected to represent as much as 76 per cent of global soy production. The GM varieties of cotton is expected to be 45 per cent and maize and rapeseed 20 per cent. The OECD report also predicts that herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant GM varieties of beans, peanuts, barley, potatoes, rice and sunflowers may be market-ready by 2015. In the case of other plants such as wheat, apples, rice or tomatoes, the development of new varieties with modified product quality or agronomic traits are also predicted to enter the market around 2015. This is discomforting news for those who oppose such genetically altered organisms and almost suggests that efforts to limit or regulate GMOs will have little success over the course of the next decade. If GMOs are going to become such a dinner table staple, I would hope that, at a minimum, mandatory labeling legislation would be passed by Congress to help consumers make reasoned choices.