Iowa Public Television


Group Challenges Success of Biotech Crops

posted on February 4, 2005

The biotechnology industry has failed to deliver on promises to revolutionize agriculture with plants genetically engineered to be healthier, drought-resistant, and tastier, a consumer group said this week.

The Washington D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest reached the conclusion after analyzing publicly available data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. A CSPI spokesman said the data shows the industry "is stagnating, not thriving."

Figures from a nonprofit supporter of biotechnology -- the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications -- would seem to counter the CSPI claims. Those numbers show eight million farmers in 17 countries grew engineered crops on 200 million acres of land last year. That's a 20 percent increase in acreage from 2003.

Tags: agriculture biotechnology crops genetic engineering industry news