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GM crops keep growing

Report finds 15% increase in engineered crops globally in 2003, to 67.7 million hectares

Andrew Scott(As@andrewscottweb.com)

Worldwide cultivation of plant biotech crops grew by 15% in 2003, the seventh consecutive year of double-digit growth, according to a new report by a group sponsored by various government agencies and industries. More than 67 million hectares of the crops are now planted across the globe.

The report by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) found that 7 million farmers in 18 countries now plant biotech crops, including more than 85% of “resource-poor” farmers in the developing world.

The leading growers of biotech crops are the United States, Argentina, Canada, China, Brazil, and South Africa. These countries account for 99% of the global biotech crop area. The greatest increases in 2003 were in China and South Africa, which both planted 33% more biotech hectares than in 2002.

“Farmers have made up their minds,” said ISAAA Chairman and Founder Clive James, speaking at the release of...

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