Why are GM seeds patented, and does this hurt farmers?
Seed has been patented in the United States since the 1930s. The ability of universities, seed companies and individuals to patent their developments has spurred improved products that have significantly increased agricultural productivity. Farmers are very familiar with their choices of whether or not to buy patented seeds.
- GMOs give farmers, regardless of the size of their operations, the potential to increase productivity and profitability by planting seeds with specialized value-added traits and resistance to insects, viruses and disease. GMOs have not been proven to be harmful, is effective and widely used by more than 16 million farmers around the world. Large and small scale farmers across the world recognize the value of GM crops and the graph below shows the global area of GM crop adoption.