GM-y Cracked Corn
American farmers are expected to plant 24 percent less genetically modified (GM) corn this year than they did last year, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study released on Friday. Declines are also expected in plantings of GM soybeans and cotton, a reaction to growing consumer resistance to biotech crops, particularly in Europe. Meanwhile, the number of acres of U.S. farmland certified for organic growing more than doubled between 1992 and 1997, a separate USDA study found. New national organic standards, expected to be finalized by the end of this year, are likely to give the U.S. organic market an added boost. Despite recent growth, less than two-tenths of 1 percent of U.S. farmland is under organic production. In contrast, more than 1.5 percent of European farmland was farmed organically in 1997, and some are predicting that 10 to 20 percent will be organic by 2010.