BIO Statement on 2003 Planting Estimates for Biotechnology Crops

WASHINGTON (March 31, 2003)- (Dr. Michael J. Phillips, executive director for food and agriculture of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response to today’s release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service grower planting intentions survey for 2003.)

“It is no surprise to see that U.S. farmers continue to increase their plantings of crops enhanced through biotechnology. Today’s USDA report clearly reflects the continued high confidence U.S. farmers have placed in seeds improved through biotechnology. Since their introduction 1996, we have seen a yearly increase in the percentage of acres planted with biotech seeds in nearly every single crop category. Farmers continue to choose the biotech alternative to help them better manage crop production.

“Clearly, the benefits of these improved seed varieties help farmers to strengthen crops by making them more resistant to disease, increasing crop yields, and reducing the use of pesticides. Biotech corn plantings are up 4 percent to 38 percent of all corn planted in the U.S.; soybeans increased 5 percent to 80 percent of all plantings, and cotton remains statistically unchanged at 70 percent.

“The United States, although the leader in biotech plantings, is not alone. Globally, we continue to see an increase in acceptance of biotech crops, with a 12 percent increase in 2002 over 2001 with 145 million acres planted in 13 countries.”

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

Note to Editors: a link to the USDA report is at

Biotech Crop Plantings-U.S.

Biotech Crops-Percent of Plantings - U.S.