The U.S. Supreme Court in Diamond v. Chakrabarty rules that genetically altered life forms can be patented. The decision allows the Exxon Oil Company to patent an oil-eating microorganism.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the first genetically engineered drug, Genentech's Humulin, a form of human insulin produced by bacteria. This is the first consumer product developed through modern bioengineering.
The first field tests of genetically engineered plants (tobacco) are conducted in Belgium.
The first field tests of genetically engineered crops (tobacco and tomato) are conducted in the United States.
•The FDA declares that genetically engineered foods are "not inherently dangerous" and do not require special regulation.
•Calgene's Flavr Savr tomato, is approved for commercial production by the US Department of Agriculture.
•The European Union's first genetically engineered crop, tobacco, is approved and labeled in France.
•A total of 35 approvals had been granted to commercially grow transgenic crops.
As of 2004, genetically modified crops were being grown by 8.25 million farmers in 17 countries (James, 2004).
Soybeans , maize , cotton , and canola are 4 genetically modified crops that dominate biotech agriculture.