GENET archive


2-Plants: Worldwide biotech crops experience near record growth

                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Worldwide Biotech Crops Experience Near Record Growth
SOURCE: ISAAA, Philippines
DATE:   12 Jan 2005

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Worldwide Biotech Crops Experience Near Record Growth
Biotech crop area increases 11 percent in United States

MANILA, Philippines (Jan. 12, 2005) - Biotech crops experienced the
second highest hectarage growth on record in 2004 to reach 81million
hectares (200 million acres). According to a report released today,
authored by Clive James chairman and founder of the International Service
for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), global area for
biotech crops grew 20 percent in 2004 - an increase of 13.3 million
hectares (32.9 million acres).

The study reported that approximately 8.25 million farmers in 17
countries planted biotech crops in 2004 - 1.25 million more farmers than
planted biotech crops in 18 countries in 2003. Notably, 90 percent of
these farmers were in developing countries. In fact, for the first time,
the absolute growth in biotech crop area was higher in developing
countries (7.2 million hectares) than in industrial countries (6.1
million hectares).

"The continued rapid adoption, especially among small, resource-poor
farmers, is a testament to the economic, environmental, health and social
benefits realized by farmers and society in both industrial and
developing countries," said Clive James. "Further, in 2004, we continued
to see a broadening base of support for biotech crops as many of the
countries participating in biotech crop production significantly
increased biotech crop hectarage."

The number of "biotech mega-countries" (countries growing 50,000 hectares
or more biotech crops) increased from 10 to 14 in 2004 with the addition
of Paraguay, Mexico, Spain and the Philippines reflecting the
participation of a broader group of countries adopting biotech crops. The
number of countries accounting for the majority of the global total of
biotech crop area grew from five to eight and included the United States
(59 percent of the global total), Argentina (20 percent), Canada (6
percent), Brazil (6 percent), China (5 percent), Paraguay (2 percent),
India (1 percent) and South Africa (1 percent). In addition to Mexico,
Spain and the Philippines, Uruguay, Australia and Romania complete the
mega-country list.

Worldwide Biotech Crops Experience Near Record Growth

In the United States, farmers planted 47.6 million hectares of biotech
crops, up 11 percent from 2003 and comprising 59 percent of the global
total of biotech crops. Continued growth was a result of significant
acreage gains in biotech corn varieties and continued increases in
herbicide-tolerant soybeans, with modest growth in biotech cotton as the
adoption rate approached 80 percent in 2004.

This continued adoption signals a strong vote of confidence in the
benefits of biotech crops from farmers around the world, particularly
those in developing countries. Edwin Paraluman, a Filipino farmer, said
the increased production from biotech corn, approved in late 2003, has
already helped him better care for his family.

"I have a small house and my daughter is always telling me, 'Papa, please
expand our house,'" he said. "With biotech corn my yields doubled from
3.5 tons to 7 tons per hectare, helping me earn enough money to meet my
daughter's wishes."

Results like Mr. Paraluman's helped account for a 35 percentage increase
in the biotech crop area in developing nations, as compared to the 13
percent growth in industrial countries. For the first time, developing
countries accounted for more than one-third of the global biotech crop
area. James says five key developing countries - China, India, Argentina,
Brazil and South Africa - will significantly impact the global adoption
and acceptance of biotech crops in the future. "The early promise of
biotechnology has been fulfilled," James said. "Biotech crops are now
poised to enter a new era of momentum that will stimulate growth well in
to the future."

Approval of two biotech maize varieties for import to the European Union
and continued signs of progress in China contribute to this optimism.
China is likely to approve Bt rice in the near-term probably in 2005,
which would usher adoption of the most significant food crop in the world
and have a major impact on the acceptance of biotech food, feed and fiber
crops worldwide.

By the end of the decade, ISAAA predicts up to 15 million farmers will
grow biotech crops on 150 million hectares in up to 30 countries. The
executive summary of the report, which was sponsored by Fondazione
Bussolera Branca of Italy and The Rockefeller Foundation of the United
States, can be accessed at


The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech
Applications (ISAAA) is a not-for-profit organization cosponsored by the
public and private sector with an international network of centers
designed to contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty by
facilitating transfer of crop biotechnology applications to developing
countries and global knowledge-sharing about biotech crops. Clive James,
chairman and founder of ISAAA, has lived and worked for the past 25 years
in the developing countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa, devoting
his efforts to agricultural research and development issues. Lately, his
focus is crop biotechnology and global food security.

Note to editors: 1 hectare = 2.47 acres

For more information, contact:
John Dutcher, (+1-515) 334-3464,

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Andhra records 1385% increase in land being used to grow GM
SOURCE: PTI / New Kerala, India
DATE:   13 Jan 2005

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Andhra records 1385% increase in land being used to grow GM

[India News]: New Delhi, Jan 13 : Buoyed by an increase in yield and
better economic returns, farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are relying more on
Genetically Modified crops and are now using a significant area for the
purpose, a report has suggested.

"States, where the Government has permitted to grow Bt cotton, have shown
about 1000 per cent growth in terms of land that is now being used to
grow genetically modified crops," National Coordinator of 'International
Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications' (ISAAA)
Bhagirat Choudhary told reporters releasing the report here today.

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have recorded a percentage
growth of 1385, 945 and 667 respectively in terms of area used to grow Bt
cotton - a crop that was permitted by the Government, he claimed.

Other states of Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have also witnessed
increase in land area being used to grow Bt cotton. Areawise increase in
these states have been recorded at 600, 320 and 132 per cent
respectively, the agriculture scientist said adding "about 30 to 50 per
cent increase in the yield has been recorded in the six states." The
scientist when asked about the food safety concerns said "genetically
modified crops are as safe as naturally grown crops for similar processes
also happen in nature outside our knowledge." ISAAA, a UK-based public
sector organisation, aims at transfering agri-biotech applications from
industrial countries to developing nations.


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