Monsanto sticks to GM wheat plans despite CWB protest
28 May 2003
The Canadian Wheat Board has called on Monsanto to withdraw its
application to test genetically modified wheat in Canada over fears
that the country may lose its main wheat markets. Canadian and US
regulators are both reviewing a Monsanto GM wheat variety for safety
issues relating to food, feed and the environment.
A spokeswoman for the Canadian Wheat Board warned that Canadian
farmers could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in sales if Monsanto’s
Canadian unit goes ahead with further tests of its “Roundup Ready”
wheat. Monsanto spokesman Michael Doane said the company would be
communicating in private with the wheat board, but said Monsanto
intends to continue with its application for regulatory approval.
"The wheat board is an important constituent and their request is
something we'll take seriously," Doane was quoted by Reuters as
saying. "We have tremendous support throughout the wheat value chain
for getting regulatory approval. People want to know it is safe.
We're going to stay on course and continue to look for those regulatory
Monsanto officials stressed that regulatory approval was different
from commercialisation and said the company would meet necessary
criteria before releasing the biotech wheat into the marketplace.