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Canadian Wheat Board Calls for Ban on GE Wheat

Winnipeg Free Press

April 3, 2003

Canadian Wheat Board urges Ottawa to reject genetically modified wheat

WINNIPEG (CP) _ The Canadian Wheat Board urged Ottawa on Thursday to create
new rules allowing government to reject genetically modified wheat even if
it is considered safe for the environment and for animal and human
consumption.

Action is necessary, said board chairman Ken Ritter, because multinational
biotech giant Monsanto Canada Inc.'s glyphosate-tolerant wheat, known as
Roundup Ready spring wheat, could be approved for sale as early as next
year.

"The urgency of this issue cannot be overstated," Ritter told the Commons
standing committee on agriculture.

He wants new regulations that would allow the federal government to add a
cost-benefit analysis to its approval process. More than 80 per cent of the
wheat board's markets are not open to genetically modified wheat.

"Being shut out of premium wheat markets around the world could cost farmers
hundreds of millions of dollars per year,'' Ritter said.

With annual sales of between $4 billion and $6 billion, the Canadian Wheat
Board is one of Canada's biggest exporters. It sells more than 20 million
tonnes of wheat and barley to over 70 countries each year.

Ritter said he does not question the science underlying the existing
regulatory process, which allows the government to reject modified crops if
they don't meet food, feed or environmental safety standards.

However, he thinks the analysis should investigate the costs of segregating
engineered from non-engineered wheat and of controlling herbicide-resistant
genetically modified wheat plants that turn up in other crops

Meanwhile, Monsanto has promised not to release Roundup Ready wheat
commercially until there is a segregation system in place and markets have
been identified.
________________________________________

Broadcast News (BN) Canada

April 2, 2003 Wednesday

WINNIPEG -- Demonstrators rallied outside the offices of multinational
biotech giant Monsanto Canada to protest open-air

WINNIPEG -- Demonstrators rallied outside the offices of multinational
biotech giant Monsanto Canada to protest open-air trials of genetically
engineered wheat.

Two dozen people clamoured outside the building yesterday at the University
of Manitoba, warning about the economic consequences of genetically altered
wheat.

The world leader in biotechnology and agriculture was targeted because its
Roundup Ready spring wheat, appears to be the closest to commercialization.

Patrick Venditti, a Greenpeace campaigner, says the development of
genetically modified wheat is an imminent threat to farmers throughout the
Prairies.

He says once the wheat supply is contaminated, people around the world will
stop buying Canadian wheat.

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