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% to 167.2 million acres, according to a Results from (ISAAA).

The increase includes an estimated 7.41 million acres of biotech soybeans in Brazil, which approved planting of biotech soybeans for the first time in 2003. The report states that the final planted area in Brazil could be significantly higher.

Almost one-third of the global biotech crop area was grown in developing countries, up from one-quarter last year. Six countries are responsible for 99% of the global biotech crop area, up from four countries in 2002. 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 acres than in 2002. In the United States, biotech crop acreage grew 10% due to gains in biotech corn and soybeans.

For a full executive summary of the report and a list of ISAAA sponsors, visit www.isaaa.org.