GMO Crops and Seeds Market: Overview
Genetically modified (GM) crops and seeds are gathering attention as a significant step for increasing agricultural output. Traditionally, the agriculture industry has been supportive of technological advancement especially in areas of genetic crop improvement. The mixing of genetic traits of seeds naturally has been a practice that the agricultural industry has been following for decades in the search to develop robust varieties. However, the modification method used with GM seeds varies from traditional method, wherein the genes are not modified over generations of cross-fertilization, but rather directly inserted into the DNA of the seed.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global GMO crops and seeds market is likely to reach a valuation of US$36,653.2 mn by the end of 2022, expanding at a CAGR of 8.3% for the 2017-2022 forecast period.
Use of Genetically Modified Corn as Insecticide Accounts for Large Volume Production in U.S.
The GMO crops and seeds market is likely to benefit due to the use of genetically modified crops as an effective insecticide. In the U.S., eighty-five percent of corn produced is genetically modified, as per the Center for Food Safety. Large volume of genetically modified corn is engineered to produce a soil bacterium called bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is an effective insecticide. This accounts for dominance of corn among other genetically modified crops.
Bt corn that is created by inserting a gene into the DNA of the plant reduces the need of a broad spectrum of insecticides. Most pesticides that are used on crops to kill all insects, including the ones that are harmless and beneficial to plant growth. On the other hand, Bt acts only on insects that are susceptible to the toxin and only destroys insects that have ingested Bt corn.
Health and Safety Concerns Associated with GM Crops
The safety of genetically modified crop is a serious consideration among researchers around the world. While the reduced usage of pesticide is favorable for human health, the health implications of genetically modified crops are not yet fully understood. As per the Center for Food Safety, Bt corn can trigger an allergic response as the actual DNA of the corn has been altered.
Environmental Impact of GM Crops
The use of genetically modified crops has an environmental upside. For instance, Bt corn helps protect beneficial insects such as honey bees from harmful pesticides. Genetically modified crops have been associated with contamination of other crops. This makes organic farming difficult where genetic modifications are not allowed. For example, cross pollination has already led to elimination of large varieties of heirloom corn. Genetically modified crops pose a threat to aquatic life as well. For example, the toxin released by Bt corn, which kills crop-destroying insects, if mixed with nearby stream can have a negative impact on aquatic life.
North America to Continue to Remain Attractive Region for GM Crops and Seeds
Geography-wise, North America holds supremacy in the global GMO crops and seeds market and the trend is expected to continue over the 2017-2022 forecast period. However, Europe is expected to surpass in terms of growth rate over the aforementioned forecast period. Asia Pacific except Japan also stands as a key regional market for GM crops and seeds.
GM Crops and Seeds Market: Competitive Dynamics
Leading players in the global GM crops and seeds market are BASF SE, Bayer Crop Science India Ltd, DOW Agrosciences LLC, Groupe Limagrain Holdings Corp, KWS SAAT SE, Land O’ Lakes Inc, Monsanto Co., Sakata Seed Corp, Syngenta AG, Takii Seeds, E.l. du Pont de Nemours & Co, Agreliant Genetics LLC, Bejo Zaden BV, Canterra Seeds Holdings Ltd, and DLF Seeds and Science.