During the first decade of commercialization of genetically engineered crops, they have received mixed response from different parts of the global community ranging from well accepted to total non-acceptance. The major concerns raised against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are regarding their presumed ill-effects on health, environment and bio diversity. Despite the opposition, data reveals that GMOs have been well accepted in many parts of the world. First generation GMOs have mainly benefited the producers by reducing the input and management costs, whereas second generation GM crops are expected to provide benefits to consumers e.g. with enhanced food quality parameters. Third generation of genetically engineered crops is being developed specifically for industrial purposes. Gene technology carries immense potential for producers, consumers, industry and economy, however the potential risks involved in realizing these benefits, need to be addressed appropriately. This chapter reviews the level of acceptance of GMOs in developed and developing world giving due consideration to the concerns against and arguments in favour of biotechnology. Potential benefits of GMOs for eco-efficient crop production and the future opportunities are discussed.
Keywords: bioeconomy, biofortified, biosafety, GM crops, GMOs, geneflow