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The "Gene Revolution" in Global Perspective: A Reconsideration of the Global Adoption and Diffusion of GM Crop Varieties, 1996-2002
Staff Paper Series No. 9, September 2003
by Frederick Buttel and Aya Hirata

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It is widely acknowledged that the introduction and commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crop varieties have comprised one of the most important chapters in the recent development of global agriculture. It is clear that the GM variety adoption experiences within the U.S. have been significant by world and historical standards. And because of the rapid adoption of transgenic soybean, cotton, and corn varieties in the U.S. over the past seven or so years, there has been a tendency for many observers to presume that the rapid adoption of these GM crop varieties has occurred in relatively similar fashion elsewhere throughout the globe—or at least that there should be discernible tendencies in this direction across world nations. Indeed, there has been considerable discussion of the fact that world population growth and the persistence of widespread hunger make it obvious that the rapid adoption of GM crops in the U.S. is almost certainly heralding an incipient globalscale “gene revolution."

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