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Double-digit growth continues for biotech crops worldwide.

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Double-Digit Growth Continues for Biotech Crops Worldwide U.S. biotech crop area up 10 percent

MANILA, Philippines (Jan. 13, 2004) — For the seventh consecutive year, farmers

around the world continued to plant biotech crops at a double-digit pace, with the 2003 total

up 15 percent to 167.2 million acres or 67.7 million hectares, according to a report released

today by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

The increase includes a provisional conservative estimate of 7.41 million acres or

3 million hectares of biotech soybeans in Brazil, which approved planting of biotech soybeans

for the first time in 2003. The final planted area in Brazil could be significantly higher.

The report also stated that 7 million farmers in 18 countries — more than 85 percent

resource-poor farmers in the developing world — now plant biotech crops, up from 6 million

in 16 countries in 2002. Almost one-third of the global biotech crop area was grown in

developing countries, up from one-quarter last year.

“Farmers have made up their minds,” said Clive James, chairman and founder of

ISAAA. “They continue to rapidly adopt biotech crops because of significant agronomic,

economic, environmental and social advantages.”

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 United States, 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. The remaining top 10 countries planting more

than 50,000 hectares are Australia, India, Romania and Uruguay; another eight countries each

plant up to 50,000 hectares of biotech crops.

In the United States, biotech crop acreage grew 10 percent as a result of significant

gains in biotech corn area and continued growth in biotech soybeans. A total of 105.7 million

acres of soybeans, corn and cotton were grown. Farmer Ray Bardole, who raises more than

600 acres of no-till biotech soybeans on his farm near Rippey, Iowa, says he plants biotech

crops because of the economic and environmental advantages they afford.

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Global Biotech Crop Hectarage/Page Two

“Current biotech crops are to agriculture what the Model T Ford is to modern

transportation — we’re only beginning to see the benefits,” Bardole said. “We’re spending

one-half to one-third what we used to on weed control, and we’re able to use more techniques

like no-till that help us be better stewards of our land.”

Biotech soybeans continue to lead all hectares globally with an increase of nearly

13 percent to 102.2 million acres — 55 percent of soybeans globally. New varieties and country

approvals spurred the greatest growth in the area planted to biotech maize, with an increase of

25 percent to a total of 38.3 million acres worldwide — 11 percent of the global maize area.

Canola followed with 20 percent growth for a total of 8.9 million acres — 16 percent of canola

hectarage globally. Biotech cotton was up approximately 6 percent to a total of 9.7 million acres

— 21 percent of the global cotton area.

“Despite the ongoing debate in the European Union, there is cause for cautious

optimism that the global area of biotech crops and the number of farmers planting them will

continue to grow in 2004 and beyond,” James said.

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.

The Executive Summary of the report (ISAAA Briefs 30, by Clive James) can be

accessed at


The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) is a not-for-profit organization with an international network of centers designed to contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty by sharing crop biotechnology applications. 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

Embargoed until 10 a.m. EST, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004

Biotech Crop Area by Country

� The United States planted 105.7 million acres of biotech crops, up 10 percent from 2002, and

accounted for 63 percent of the global total of biotech crops. The continued growth was a result of significant acreage gains in biotech corn varieties and continued increases in herbicide-tolerant soybeans.

� Argentina contributed 34.3 million acres of biotech crops, 3 percent above 2002 and

21 percent of the global total of biotech crops. Bt maize acreage continued to grow, while biotech soybean acreage accounts for nearly 100 percent of the crop.

� Canada grew 10.9 million acres of biotech crops for 6 percent of the global total, up

26 percent from 2002. The high growth rate reflects higher plantings of canola and significant growth in both biotech maize and herbicide-tolerant soybeans.

� Brazil, planting biotech soybeans for the first time, contributed 4 percent of the global total at

7.4 million acres. This is a conservative provisional estimate as only half of the area was planted at the time of this report. The final area could be significantly higher.

� China grew 6.9 million acres of biotech cotton (58 percent of the national cotton crop), an

increase of 33 percent above 2002 and 4 percent of the total global area of biotech crops.

� South Africa planted approximately 988,000 acres of biotech crops, up 33 percent from last

year and 1 percent of the global total of biotech crops. The increase is from gains in biotech white and yellow maize, cotton and soybeans.

� While biotech crop acreage decreased slightly in Australia due to the continuing drought

that resulted in significantly reduced planting overall, farmers still planted approximately 247,000 acres of biotech cotton.

� In its second year of biotech crop production, India doubled Bt cotton acreage to about

247,000 acres in 2003.

� Uruguay and Romania reported significant growth in biotech crop acreage. Romania

increased biotech soybean hectarage by half to 172,900 acres. Uruguay tripled its biotech soybean acres to 148,200 hectares and commercially planted Bt maize for the first time.

� Spain remained the only country in the European Union to plant significant acreage of

biotech crops with 79,000 acres of Bt maize, an increase of 33 percent from last year.

� Elsewhere in Europe, Germany continued to grow a small area of Bt maize, and Bulgaria

continued to grow a few thousand acres of herbicide-tolerant maize.

� The Philippines grew biotech crops for the first time in 2003 with nearly 50,000 acres of

Bt maize — the first biotech food/feed crop to be grown in Asia.

� Reports from Indonesia indicate farmers planted a small area of Bt cotton in Sulawesi.

� Colombia expanded its area of Bt cotton to about 12,000 acres during its second year of

biotech production.

� Honduras expanded its Bt maize plantings in 2003 to nearly 5,000 acres from a

pre-commercial introductory area of just more than 1,000 acres of Bt maize in 2002.

� Mexico grew about 62,000 hectares of Bt cotton and approximately 25,000 acres of

herbicide-tolerant soybeans.