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The Promise of Biotechnology

Today, DuPont is combining our experience and knowledge of chemistry with our understanding and expertise in biology. The result is our work in biotechnology, applications of a scientific process to deliver more enhanced possibilities for people.

The world's population is expected to exceed nine billion by the year 2050, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. With more people, we need to provide more resources. Biotechnology alone cannot solve this problem, but it does promise the potential of solutions to global food security and environmental protection.

On the Farm

Farmers are stewards of the earth, providers of food. To yield healthy, plentiful harvests and lighten our environmental footprint, farmers seek economically and environmentally appropriate options. As another tool for farmers to improve productivity and profitability, biotechnology applies the newest, most advanced knowledge to help plants do things they couldn't do before.


  • Pest and Disease Protection.
    Crops that protect themselves from pests help ease our environmental load, while maximizing farmers' harvests. Corn on the market today offers simple, season-long protection against insects which cause billions of dollars in damage and lost productivity to cornfields in the United States alone.  Pioneer® brand corn hybrids with the Optimum® AcreMax® family of insect protection technologies provide growers with a broad line-up of insect control options that also ensure refuge management and sustainability practices are maintained.

  • Plentiful Harvests.
    Corn yields have increased as biotechnology has been widely adopted. Biotechnology, in tandem with improved germplasm, is allowing farmers to produce more food and feed per acre than ever before.

  • New Weed Control Options.
    Many Pioneer® brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties have in-plant resistance to popular herbicides, providing growers with flexibility in controlling weeds and increasing productivity on every acre.

  • Less Erosion, Better Water.
    Biotechnology is helping DuPont deliver products on the market today that give new options with minimum or no tillage, reduced soil compaction and erosion and improved water quality.

  • Better Feed.
    Better feed for livestock decreases phosphorus amounts in manure. This, in turn, helps to improve quality of ground water, rivers and other bodies of water. Improved feed also helps produce quality meats more efficiently.

These advances in biotechnology have allowed farmers to benefit from greater productivity and output with less cost, effort and economic risk, and a reduced burden to the environment.

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On the Table

DuPont biotechnology researchers are developing more convenient, healthier choices in grocery stores and tastier foods for the family dinner table.


  • Better Oils.
    DuPont researchers have developed soybeans that produce oils with zero trans fats and superior quality needed by the food industry. Plenish® is a high oleic soybean oil has 0g trans fat, less saturated fat and the highest amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat available in soy.

  • Enzymes deliver milk to millions.
    70% of the world's population is unable to tolerate lactose in their diet. That means that many nutritious, easy-to-produce foods and proteins cannot be used to solve the global food shortage in widespread areas of the world. We have developed a lactase enzyme for the production of lactose-free and lactose-reduced foods that are still rich in milk calcium and all the other nutrients that characterize wholesome dairy milk.

  • Improved Grains.
    DuPont is investing in improving grains to reduce meat and eggs' cholesterol content, and provide meat products with improved freshness, nutritional profile and flavor.

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How We Live

More than just how we eat, biotechnology can enhance how we live and work. At DuPont, we're applying our knowledge of biology with other areas of science to fit — and adapt to — consumers' lifestyles. From optimized medical diagnosis and sensors, to improved construction and clothes, we're finding sustainable solutions to make households safer, communities healthier and life simpler.


  • Better Fibers
    Through biotechnology, DuPont researchers developed a safer, less expensive process to produce 3GT, an indispensable component in production of Sorona, a unique lightweight, stain and static-resistant material. Clothing and rug manufacturers favor better fitting, easily dyed and more comfortable fibers made with Sorona.

  • Renewable Fuels
    DuPont Industrial Biosciences has been working to develop biofuel technology for more than 25 years. Our enzyme solutions for the conversion of starch to bioethanol are already making significant contributions to targets for renewable energy set in the United States and the European U. And our advanced biofuels technology - using biomass feedstocks and more sustainable fermentation techniques - will stimulate new industries, new green jobs and help to power clean economies.

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For the World

Agriculture around the world is challenging, especially in developing countries where farmers face drought, plant diseases, insects and low crop yields. Biotechnology offers a promise for a world population expected to exceed nine billion by 2050.

Biotechnology products have the potential to help children around the world who suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

Biotechnology is already playing a role in increasing world food production. Globally, there were 329 million corn acres in 1981. The total number of acres in corn production has increased 31 percent since 1981. However, the amount of corn produced on those acres has increased 94 percent over the same time. In other words, advances in technology and agricultural practices have created 240 million “virtual acres” in the past 30 years.


  • New Methods for Farming.
    We're developing drought and heat-resistant corn. There's also significant potential for crops to thrive in poor quality soil where land is scarce and to maintain yields with less nitrogen.

  • Agriculture with the Environment in Mind.
    Where environmental concerns rank high, there's potential for crops that reduce erosion and maintain water quality. Crops being developed could require less tillage or produce more environmentally-friendly animal feed.

  • Approaches to Malnutrition.
    Biotechnology's potential includes solutions to problems of malnutrition. DuPont is the technology provider to the Africa Biofortified Sorghum Project, which seeks to use biotechnology to enhance the nutritional value of this important food source in Africa.

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