Despite global protests with millions turning out, Western Australian farmers have bought record amounts of genetically-modified canola from breeder-under-fire Monsanto.

WA farmers can’t get enough of the Roundup Ready canola seed, buying up 416 tonnes this year, an increase of 38 per cent from last year. Reports say more than 730 growers have made the switch from conventional to GM canola this year.

There has been worldwide uproar over the products and practices of Roundup-maker Monsanto this year, including a movement in May that saw two million people protest genetic modification of food, patenting natural organisms and pesticides.

Farmers say they need the GM crops to survive; the technology brings higher yields, better resistance, cheaper outlay and more predictable growing cycles, according to agronomists.

Those opposed to GM technology say it is too new to know the complete risks, and criticise companies such as Monsanto for patenting crops and suing those who use the incorrect seeds.