GM crop plantings increasing globally, says industry group

Farmers around the world increased plantings of genetically modified crops in 2007, producing "substantial economic and environmental benefits", a biotech crop promotion group said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The findings by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) were attacked by Friends of the Earth (FoE) and other biotechnology opponents. FoE issued a separate report asserting that genetically modified (GM) crops have led to a
large increase in chemical use and have failed to increase crop yields or address world hunger and poverty.
The ISAAA report said corn, soybeans and other crops were planted on 114.3 million hectares of land in 23 countries last year — up 12%
from 2006. That is in addition to the 29 countries that have approved imports of biotech crops. About 9 percent of the biotech crop area was
used for biofuel production, mostly in the United States.

Although farmers in China, India and Canada also were "principal adopters" of biotech crops, ISAAA said, the US, Argentina and Brazil
led the rest of the world in plantings.

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