This follows on from the press release we recently posted from IFOAM which criticised the annual reports on global GM crop acreage of the biotech industry-backed International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).
IFOAM noted, "whereas the [ISAAA] report claims that 500,000 biotech hectares are being grown in South Africa, a report from Agricultural Biotechnology in Europe, an industry coalition, and a survey team from the University of Reading in the UK show that the ISAAA's figures are exaggerated by factors of 20 and 30 respectively, and a recent report from GRAIN (www.grain.org) demonstrates that out of 3,000 farmers who originally grew Bt cotton there, only 700 continue to do, and many farmers who chose to grow the cotton are now perilously in debt. Also, 98% of the world's GM crops are still grown in only four nations - USA, Canada, Argentina and a bit in China, which has remained the same for the last five years."
Other questions about ISAAA's figures have been raised by the Indian agricultural journalist Ashok Sharma, who found ISAAA was hyping India as "a key GM crop cultivator" when the actual acreage was "miniscule" (in the words of a government report). He also found ISAAA's figures involved a nearly 10% inflation of the agriculture ministry's figures.
Now Huib de Vriend has contacted us to say he found a similar pattern of inflation when he compared US Dept of Agriculture figures over a 4-year period with ISAAA's. If this is going on even with US figures, which are easy to track, it makes one wonder what's happening with places like China.
With regard to the article on inflated ISAAA figures that was put on your website on 30 May, I recollected similar findings for the GM crop acreage in the USA after I compared ISAAA figures with USDA statistics. I have attached a small document with results which you may find interesting. Feel free to use them!!
With kind regards,
Huib de Vriend
Estimates of acreage cultivated with GM crops in the USA, 2000 2004
ISAAA - USDA
NASS USDA, Prsopective plantings 2000 2004
ISAAA, Global Review of Commercialized Transgenic Crops 2000 2004
LIS Consult, 31 May 2005