GMO, or biotechnology, is a tool some farmers choose for growing crops with specific favorable traits.

The use of biotechnology, or genetic modification, improves soybeans and other crops through precise genetic changes. For centuries, farmers have selected seeds based on best harvests and desirable plant qualities – like the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, too little rain, insects or diseases. Genetic modification has the same goal. Today’s farmers choose the right seed for their specific farm and field conditions; GMOs have proven to be a great choice for many.

  • Biotechnology and other modern plant breeding methods accelerate yield increases in soybeans and greatly contribute to the sustainability of U.S. soybean production.

  • Biotechnology provides many environmental benefits, including increased conservation tillage practices that sequester carbon, reduce costs, lower fuel consumption, reduce run-off, improve water quality and save topsoil.

  • Biotechnology plays a key role in expanding the world's supply of food, feed and renewable fuels.

  • Biotechnology introduces desirable traits into a soybean plant, enhancing production through insect, disease or weed resistance.

  • Biotechnology can create a better end product for consumers with healthier oils or improved protein content. New biotech advancements hold great opportunity.

  • The majority of soybeans grown in the United States are biotech varieties, including the popular industry-leading herbicide-resistant varieties.

  • Find resources and details about the benefits of biotechnology at, including a compendium titled “The Benefits of Biotechnology: Scientific Assessments of Agricultural Biotechnology’s Role in a Safer, Healthier World” available in 13 languages.  

GMOs are safe, regulated and provide many benefits to consumers and our environment.

Developing new genetically-modified crops is a huge investment and requires extensive testing to ensure human and environmental safety before they ever get to market.

  • A study by Phillips McDougall found that the time from a discovery project to commercial launch is more than 13 years on average, including 5.5 years for regulatory science, registration and regulatory affairs.

  • Every major scientific body and regulatory agency in the world has reviewed the research about GMOs and declared crop biotechnology and the foods available to be safe, including:

    • The American Medical Association

    • The American Association for the Advancement of Science

    • The National Academy of Sciences

    • Food Standards Australia and New Zealand

    • The French Academy of Science

    • The Royal Society of Medicine (United Kingdom)

    • The European Union

    • The Union of German Academics of Sciences and Humanities

    • The World Health Organization

  • A team of Italian scientists recently summarized more than 1,700 studies about the safety and environmental impact of GMO foods. They couldn’t find one credible example showing that GMOs pose any harm to humans, animals or the environment. 


Freedom to choose

Farmers looking to diversify their farm and capture premium market prices grow non-GMO soybeans, many times in addition to biotech soybean varieties. While growing non-GMO soybeans requires different recordkeeping, chemicals and distinct separation after harvest, farmers work to meet domestic and international market demand. Illinois is well-equipped to supply and deliver non-GMO and other identity preserved soybean varieties. Consult The Non-GMO Sourcebook for suppliers across the nation.

More GMO information for consumers and the general public