Genetically Modified Soy | WWF

Genetically Modified Soy

Genetically modified (GM) soy was first introduced in 1996, principally to make soy crops resistant to herbicides. Although resisted in some regions, notably Europe, GM soy is now grown in many parts of the world. Much of the soy in Latin America is genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate herbicide; This means soy can be sprayed several times with this herbicide during the growing season and all other plants but the soy will be killed. Recently more and more weeds have become resistant to this herbicide and as a consequence new GM soy variations have been developed with multiple herbicide resistance.

By 2009, 77% of global soy production was GM an increase of 4.9 per cent on 2008. Countries such as Argentina and the United States are now almost entirely given over to GM soy.

China aims to be the world’s largest producer of non GM soy for both internal use and export. India is also a GM free producer.

WWF does not promote or endorse the use of GMOs, applies a precautionary approach to the introduction of GMOs, and advocates the retention of non GMO options for all relevant commodities.


Proportion of GM soy grown in countries considered in this report.
Country % GM soy
United States (2009) 91
Argentina (2009) 99
Brazil (2010) 88.8
Paraguay (2010) 95
Bolivia (2011) 93
India (2009) 0
China (2009) 0
Harvested soybeans. © Peter Caton/WWF UK

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