17 February 2000
US farmers go cold on GM crops

US farmers appear to be retreating from their commitment to genetically modified crops, according to a survey by the American Corn Growers Association.

It found US farmers plan to plant 16% less GM corn than they did last year.

The survey reports that sales of GM soyabeans are being maintained at last years levels

A separate survey by the Worldwatch environmental group claims that the global acreage of all GM crops (mainly corn and soyabeans) could fall by up to 25% compared with last year.

GM seed supplier Monsanto is so concerned about farmers hesitation that it has launched a number of initiatives to get its products more readily accepted.

These include television commercials insisting that elevator operators will buy the crop this autumn.

In Illinois, its products are also being offered at a discount.