Genetic engineering presents opportunities for development of crops and cultivation techniques. Using genetic engineering techniques, crops can be instilled with properties such as resistance to pesticides, resistance to insects, or both. At the same time, there are potential risks, and many consumers have a sceptical attitude towards genetically modified foods. The risks discussed include uncertainty about long-term effects of new varieties and reduced biodiversity due to the strong dominance of a small number of crop varieties. Another criticism concerns agriculture's dependence on the chemical industry and the large plant breeding companies.
For certain crops, a large proportion of global cultivation is currently based on genetically modified varieties. This is true of soy, for example.