Report: poor farmers use more GM crops
The use of biotech crops in 2007 has increased
considerably in the developing world, according to a report from the
International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, an
industry-supported non-profit service that promotes the use of biotechnology to
alleviate poverty and hunger around the world.
More and more land will be devoted to genetically engineered foods,
especially rice, as scientists make advances and regulators approve new
products, according to the report. This has resulted that farmers in 12
developing countries planted biotech crops in 2007, for the first time exceeding
the number of industrialised countries where such crops are grown.
US and Argentina dominate
US farms continued to
dominate biotech agriculture with more than 142 million acres devoted to
engineered crops, led by soy. The country also saw the planting of biotech corn
spike 40% above the 2006 level to nearly 20 million acres, driven mainly by the
demand for ethanol.
Argentina led developing countries with about 47.2
million acres of biotech corn, soy and cotton. It was second only to the US in
total acreage and followed by Brazil, which had just over 37 million acres of
biotech cotton and soy. India grew 15.3 million acres of genetically engineered
cotton in 2007, its only biotech crop. Spain ranked highest among European
countries with about 173,000 acres of genetically engineered corn but 12th
overall, behind Paraguay, South Africa, Uruguay and the Philippines.
Europe is resistant
European countries have been
among the most resistant to genetically engineered crops, where health and
environmental concerns have long kept them out of farmers' fields. According to
the report, eight out of 27 European countries planted biotech crops in 2007, up
from six the previous year, totalling about 260,000 acres.
â€¢ International Service for the
Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications
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