The number of countries cultivating genetically modified (GM) crops is in decline, with Poland and Egypt the latest countries to suspend GM crop production, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth International released this week.

The report ‘Who benefits from GM crops?’ reveals that 90% are grown in just six countries and by less than 1% of the world farming population. An analysis of industry figures shows the claimed increase in GM planting in 2013 remains confined to these six countries, it states.

It goes on to say that there is also little evidence that new GM varieties are the best way to improve nutrition or increase our capacity to adapt to climate change. “GM crops cannot form part of a 21st century solution to the hunger crisis. Despite the hype, GM crops are still based on an outdated chemical-intensive and polluting agricultural model,” said Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Food Sovereignty programme co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth International.

She went on to say that countries such as Mexico, Kenya, Egypt and Poland recently suspended cultivation of certain GM crops, while countries such as the US, Argentina and Brazil, some of the world’s top producers of GM crops, are seeing an upward trend in the use of chemical pesticides as a result of their long-term adoption of GM crops. In the US, 49% of farmers report problems with herbicide resistant weeds, the report states.

In Africa, GM crops are grown only in three countries, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan, while in Europe six countries have banned GM crops and public opinion against them is on the rise, it claims.