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The Adoption and Diffusion of GM Crop Varieties: The "Gene Revolution" in Global Perspective, 1996-2001
Staff Paper Series No. 6, March 2002
by Frederick Buttel

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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. Further, It is clear that the GM variety adoption experiences within the U.S. have been extraordinary 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 six 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 global-scale “gene revolution.”

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