TABLE A.3 Gene Function and Crops Involved in Transgenic Field Trials, 1987-May, 1999

 

Public

Private

Gene Function (Agronomic Crops Only)

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Agronomic properties

39

5

374

6

Herbicide tolerance

55

8

2203

38

Insect resistance

84

12

1838

32

Virus resistance

184

25

447

8

Fungal resistance

61

8

272

5

Product quality

145

20

1434

22

Marker gene

75

10

135

2

Nematode resistance

9

1

4

< 1

Bacteria resistance

53

7

13

< 1

Other

55

8

142

2

Total reporting trait

725

 

5791

 

Crop (All Plants)

Corn

81

11

2708

47

Cotton

11

2

488

8

Potato

178

25

539

9

Rapeseed

18

2

216

4

Rice

22

3

73

1

Soybeans

15

2

683

12

Tobacco

162

22

92

2

Tomato

85

12

541

9

Wheat

19

3

61

1

Other

135

19

395

7

Total reporting crop

726

 

5796

 

Source: USDA (1999c). APHIS data from 1987 to May, 1999.

beans, cotton, and wheat comprise the largest farm sector markets for pesticides, accounting for approximately 60% of total pesticide expenditures (table A.2).

A recent wave of mergers and acquisitions in the seed and agrichemical industries has engendered concern about increasing concentration and its potential impacts on the seed industry and on agricultural R&D more broadly. A number of large agrichemical firms have merged or are merging (table A.4). In addition, the major agrichemical firms have been purchasing agricultural biotechnology and seed firms. Agricultural biotechnology appears to be the principal motivation for mergers and acquisitions in the latter category. Agrichemical firms have several distinct incentives for integrating vertically into the seed industry.

First, genetic engineering creates economies of scale and scope in breeding new varieties. Once identified, single genes can be introduced



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