Genetically engineered (GE) seed varieties were commercially introduced in 1996. Adoption rates for these crops increased rapidly in the years that followed. Currently, over 90 percent of U.S. corn, upland cotton, soybeans, canola, and sugarbeets are produced using GE varieties.

ERS conducts research on a number of agricultural biotechnology issues, including:

A book from the National Research Council titled The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States (2010) is a comprehensive assessment of the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the GE-crop revolution on U.S. farms.