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Monsanto Temporarily Backs off on GE Wheat in Canada

1. Monsanto says no GM wheat in 2004
2. Monsanto Canada holds back registry of GM wheat

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Monsanto says no GM wheat in 2004

Angela Hall
Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Saturday, January 03, 2004


REGINA -- Monsanto Canada won't ask an advisory body to consider any of the
company's Roundup Ready wheat varieties for registration in 2004, making it
impossible for genetically modified wheat to be introduced this year even if
the crop passes other regulatory hurdles.

Monsanto has completed the required three years of field testing for several
lines of its Roundup Ready wheat, which is engineered to withstand doses of
the herbicide Roundup.

However, Monsanto does not intend to bring forward any current lines for
recommendation at the Prairie regional recommending committee on grains
(PRRCG) 2004 annual meeting in Saskatoon next month.

"The decision not to bring forward any of our current lines for
recommendation
was made after extensive review and discussion with both internal and
external stakeholders, and is in keeping with the milestones we have set for
the responsible and positive introduction of Roundup Ready wheat," stated
the
Dec. 8 update to stakeholders.

The PRRCG formally meets once a year to make recommendations on which newly
developed varieties of grain the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's
registration office should approve.

Approval by the committee is one step Monsanto must eventually pass in order
to introduce the wheat. In a separate process, Roundup Ready wheat still
needs regulatory approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health
Canada and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency before it can be introduced
commercially in Canada. Those applications have been before the federal
government for a year.

Monsanto Canada spokesperson Trish Jordan said Friday that regulatory
approval
is only one step and on the road to a commercial release of the wheat.

Jordan said Monsanto is committed to meeting certain milestones, such as
making sure there is market acceptance and an appropriate grain handling
system, before launching the product on the market.

But the issue of Roundup Ready wheat has been contentious. Opponents range
from environmentalists concerned about genetically modified food to
marketers
worried that GM grain won't be accepted by buyers abroad.

And while the introduction of Roundup Ready wheat "isn't imminent," the
company's decision not to ask for variety recommendation in 2004 has no
commercial impact on the project, Jordan said. "This is a project we're
moving forward with carefully and responsibly," she said.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Wheat Board -- which opposes the
introduction
of genetically modified wheat due to lack of market acceptance -- called
Monsanto's decision appropriate. But Rheal Cenerini said the board will
continue to lobby the federal government to include a cost-benefit analysis
in the registration process for genetically modified wheat.

"(The decision) doesn't change their plans and it doesn't change ours, in
the
sense that we continue to work with the federal government to try to make
sure that the registration process takes into account farmers' financial
interests," he said.

© Copyright 2004Â The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)

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www.foodingredientsfirst.com/newsmaker_article.asp?idNewsMaker=4848&fSite=AO
545

Monsanto Canada holds back registry of GM wheat

The move makes it impossible to introduce Roundup Ready wheat in 2004.

05/01/2004 Monsanto Canada would not ask an advisory body to consider any of
the company`s controversial Roundup Ready wheat varieties for registration
in
2004. The move makes it impossible for genetically modified wheat to be
introduced this year.

Monsanto has completed the required three years of field-testing for several
lines of its Roundup Ready wheat, which is engineered to withstand doses of
the herbicide Roundup. However, Monsanto does not intend to bring forward
any
current lines for recommendation at the Prairie Regional Recommending
Committee on Grains` (PRRCG) 2004 annual meeting in Saskatoon next month.

Roundup Ready wheat also still needs regulatory approval from the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada and the Pest Management Regulatory
Agency before it can be introduced commercially in Canada. Those
applications
have been before the federal government for a year.


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