Gene altered crops increase

At the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in January delegates heard that gene-altered corn plantings will increase by nearly 10 per cent in 2003.

Despite consumer concerns, and opposition from customers in Japan and the EU, American farmers are largely in favour of planting biotech crops.

Plantings of Roundup Ready corn, which is altered so that farmers can use a single weed killer on the crops, will increase by about 10 per cent in 2003, while Roundup Ready soybeans will increase more than 8 per cent, according to a survey of growers at the meeting. Gene-altered cotton plantings will increase by 4 per cent in 2003 to 71 per cent of total crop.

In 2002, 34 per cent of corn was gene-altered, up 8 per cent from the previous year, and biotech soybeans made up 75 per cent of all U.S. soybean crops, up 7 per cent from the previous year, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data.

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