Spatiotemporal patterns of non-genetically modified crops in the era of expansion of genetically modified food
Despite heated debates over the safety of genetically modified (GM) food, GM crops have been expanding rapidly. Much research has focused on the expansion of GM crops. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of non-genetically modified (non-GM) crops are not clear, although they may have significant environmental and agronomic impacts and important policy implications. To understand the dynamics of non-GM crops and to inform the debates among relevant stakeholders, we conducted spatiotemporal analyses of China’s major non-GM soybean production region, the Heilongjiang Province. Even though the total soybean planting area decreased from 2005 to 2010, surprisingly, there were hotspots of increase. The results also showed hotspots of loss as well as a large decline in the number and continuity of soybean plots. Since China is the largest non-GM soybean producer in the world, the decline of its major production region may signal the continual decline of global non-GM soybeans.