Daily News Archive
Threatened By Biotech Crops Planted Worldwide
Almost one-third of the global biotech crop area was grown in developing countries, up from one-quarter last year. The number of countries responsible for 99 percent of the global biotech crop area expanded to six, up from four in 2002, according to the report. Brazil and South Africa joined the U.S., Argentina, Canada and China as the leading growers of biotech crops. China and South Africa experienced the greatest annual increase, with both countries planting one-third more biotech hectares than in 2002.
* Australia, India, Romania, Uruguay, Spain, Germany, Philippines, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico make up less than one percent of the global total percentage for planting biotech crops.
continue to lead all hectares globally with an increase of nearly
Within the next five years, ISAAA predicts 10 million farmers in 25 or more countries will plant 100 million hectares or 247,000,000 acres of biotech crops. According to the report, the global market value of biotech crops is expected to increase from approximately $4.5 billion this year to $5 billion or more by 2005.
Environmentalists are concerned about the increase in biotech crops because of the serious environmental threats they pose and inadequate regulations monitoring their impacts. Concerns have been raised over the potential for biotech crops to drift onto organic and conventional farms. If an organic farmer's crops become polluted with genetically engineered pollen, they may loose their organic certification and experience financial losses. Even conventional farmers have been sued after GE pollen drifted from a neighboring farm contaminated their crops. Monsanto sued Canadian canola farmer Percy Schmeiser for patent infringement after the company allegedly found its GE crops on his property. Mr. Schmeiser, who says he has never planted Monsanto's patented seeds, lost his first case to Monsanto and has appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court.
For more information about biotech crops, see Beyond Pesticide's Genetic Engineering Issue Page.