转基因农作物恢复扩张

发表时间:2017-05-23内容来源:VOA英语学习网

Genetically modified crops resumed their march across the world’s farmland last year, with GM plants covering a record 185m hectares — 3 per cent more than 2015. By far the largest increase was in Brazil, the engine of global GM growth, where the area expanded by 11 per cent to 44m hectares.

去年,转基因农作物恢复了在全球耕地上的扩张势头,其种植面积达到创纪录的1.85亿公顷,比2015年高出3%。增幅最大的是巴西,该国是全球转基因农作物增长的引擎,种植面积扩大11%,至4400万公顷。

The figures come from the most authoritative annual survey of GM crops worldwide, carried out by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, a global network of non-profit centres that promote agricultural biotechnology. The equivalent ISAAA study a year ago had shown a small decrease in planting, the first since GM crops were commercialised 20 years ago.

这些数据来自有关全球转基因农作物的最权威年度调查,调查由国际农业生物技术应用服务组织(International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications,简称ISAAA)展开。该组织是一个全球性网络,旗下有多个推广农业生物技术的非营利中心。该组织一年前的研究显示,转基因农作物种植面积略有减少,这是自转基因农作物20年前开始商业化种植以来的首次。

Paul Teng of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, ISAAA chair, attributed the upturn to various factors in different parts of the world. “There was some recovery in commodity prices, which had a positive effect particularly in the US,” he said. “Favourable weather led to an increase in planting in several countries.

ISAAA主席、新加坡南洋理工大学(Nanyang Technological University)教授Paul Teng将转基因农作物种植面积恢复增长归因于全球不同地区的多个因素。“大宗商品价格有所回升,这尤其在美国产生了积极影响,”他表示,“有利的天气使多个国家的种植面积增加。”

“But the main driving force is that farmers appreciate the immense benefits of biotech crops for improved productivity and profitability, as well as conservation efforts,” said Professor Teng.

他表示:“但主要的推动因素是农民认识到了生物技术农作物对于提高生产率和利润率以及环保努力的巨大好处。”

Sales of GM seeds in 2016 were also up 3 per cent on 2015, according to data provided by Cropnosis, a research company. The market was worth $15.8bn, equivalent to 35 per cent of global commercial seed sales ($45bn).

根据研究机构Cropnosis提供的数据,2016年转基因种子的销售额也比2015年增长3%。这块市场的规模为158亿美元,相当于全球商业种子销售额(450亿美元)的35%。

Four species still dominate GM planting: maize, soyabeans, cotton and canola (oilseed rape). The two main “traits” or characteristics conferred by genetic engineering so far have been herbicide tolerance, which enables farmers to spray fields with a weedkiller that does not harm the crop, and insect resistance, which stops pests eating the plants.

目前种植的主要转基因农作物仍是以下四类:玉米、大豆、棉花和油菜籽。目前基因工程赋予的两种主要特点是耐除草剂和抗虫性,前者让农民可以向农田喷洒除草剂,但不伤害农作物,后者可以阻止害虫啃食农作物。

But new GM crops would soon propel another wave of expansion, Professor Teng said: “With commercial approvals and plantings of new varieties of biotech potatoes and apples, consumers will begin to enjoy direct benefits of biotechnology with produce that is not likely to spoil or be damaged, which in turn has the potential to substantially reduce food waste and consumer grocery costs.” For example genes added to GM apples and potatoes make them more resistant to browning or bruising when cut or bashed.

但新的转基因作物将会很快引发新一波扩张,Paul Teng表示:“随着以生物技术培育的新品种土豆和苹果获得商业化批准和种植,消费者将能开始享受到生物技术带来的直接益处,农产品不太可能坏掉或被破坏,从而有可能大量减少食品浪费和消费者在食品方面的成本。”例如,被添加进转基因苹果和土豆的基因,可使苹果和土豆在切开或受到撞击时更不容易变色或碰伤。

Although consumer and environmental groups across the world continue to resist GM crops, the resolutely pro-biotech ISAAA detects signs of changing attitudes.

尽管世界各地的消费者和环保团体继续抵制转基因农作物,但坚定支持生物技术的ISAAA发现了人们态度转变的一些迹象。

In Africa, for instance, “a new wave of acceptance is emerging”, with field trials of GM banana, cowpea and sorghum under way in several countries. Even in Europe, the heartland of anti-GM sentiment, 136,000 hectares of insect-resistant maize were planted — 17 per cent up on 2015.

例如,在非洲,“新一波的接受浪潮正在出现”,多个国家正在开展转基因香蕉、豇豆和高粱的试验田。即便在作为反转基因大本营的欧洲,也种植了13.6万公顷防虫害的转基因玉米,较2015年增长了17%。

The commercial concentration of agricultural biotechnology is set to increase this year, with megamergers in progress between Bayer and Monsanto, Dow Chemical and DuPont, and Syngenta and ChemChina. Although the industry’s critics have expressed concern, Prof Teng is supportive.

今年,农业生物技术行业的集中度料将上升,数起特大合并正在推进,包括拜耳(Bayer)与孟山都(Monsanto)、陶氏化学(Dow Chemical)与杜邦(DuPont),以及先正达(Syngenta)与中国化工(ChemChina)。尽管业内批评人士表达了担忧,但Paul Teng支持这一趋势。

“I really think that having fewer companies will be better for farmers,” he said. “The three or four companies left will be better at carrying out groundbreaking R&D, transferring technology from the public sector and complying with international standards.”

他说:“我由衷认为,公司数量减少对农民更有利。剩下的三四家公司将能更好地实施开创性的研发项目,将技术从公共部门转移出来,并遵循国际标准。”

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20170523/466431.html