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Brainwashed U.S. Farmers Plant Yet More Transgenic Corn & Soybeans

Des Moines Register
April 1, 2004

Engineered Crop Seed Sales Able to Thrive:
Facing resistance from key markets and higher costs, desire for the seeds in
the U.S. continues to grow.

By ANNE FITZGERALD

U.S. farmers' appetite for genetically engineered crop seed keeps growing,
despite continued resistance to the crops in several key export markets.

Seed corn engineered to repel pests, tolerate herbicide or deliver a
combination of those traits will be planted on about half of all U.S. corn
acreage this spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday.
Soybeans designed to withstand application of the popular herbicide Roundup
will be planted on nearly nine of every 10 acres of U.S. soybeans, the
agency said.

For both crops, that's an increase of at least 5 percent from a year ago.

In Iowa, the No. 1 corn-producing state and No. 2 in soybeans, farmers
expect to plant engineered seeds on even greater portions of their crop
ground -89 percent for soybeans and 53 percent for corn.

"There's no doubt, especially for soybeans, that it's a simplified system,"
said Palle Pedersen, an agronomist with Iowa State University Extension in
Ames.

Only Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota had higher percentages than Iowa
for engineered corn plantings. South Dakota, Kansas and Arkansas had higher
percentages for biotech-based soybean plantings.

While engineered seed typically costs more than conventional seed,
biotech-based crops can reduce expenses linked to combatting pests or weeds,
crop experts said.

Genetically engineered crop seeds were introduced on the U.S. market in the
mid-1990s, and are now planted in 18 countries.