Genetically Modified Crops in the United States

Genetically Modified Crops in the United States

The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology has updated its fact sheet on the amount, and types, of genetically modified crops grown in the U.S. to include 2004 data recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The fact sheet, titled "Genetically Modified Crops in the United States," includes the following highlights from 2004:

  • An additional 3.9 million acres of genetically modified soybeans were planted in the U.S. in 2004, increasing the portion of U.S. soybeans which are genetically modified from 81 percent in 2003 to 85 percent in 2004.  
  • U.S. farmers planted an additional 4.9 million acres of genetically modified corn in 2004, increasing the portion of U.S. corn which is genetically modified from 40 percent in 2003 to 45 percent in 2004.  
  • For the first time in three years, total cotton acreage in the U.S. increased. The share of cotton which is GM - a total of 10.6 million acres - also increased from 73 percent in 2003 to 76 percent in 2004.  
  • South Dakota and Mississippi continue to adopt genetically modified crops faster than other states. In 2004, 79 percent of all corn and 95 percent of all soybeans grown in South Dakota were genetically modified. In Mississippi, 97 percent of all cotton produced was genetically modified.

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.